FORTVILLE — Hosting a track and field sectional has its advantages, as the Mt. Vernon boys squad can attest.
You know the nooks and crannies of the running track, pits and field; you don’t have to board a bus like the other 11 schools in the field must; and you can use that to out-do the competition.
Which is exactly what the Marauders did Thursday night, as they coasted to the title, 144-120 over Pendleton Heights. It was MV’s third sectional crown, all coming since the school began to host sectionals in 2003 (the others were in 2004 and 2012).
Eastern Hancock was fifth with 61.5 points, and advanced four individuals and two relays to next Thursday’s North Central Regional.
The Marauders captured six events, with Andrew Payne sweeping the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and running the second leg of the 400 relay, which MV won.
MV also won the first event, the 3,200 relay, in a stirring duel with Lapel, and Wyatt Gutierrez in the shot put and Lincoln Hine in the pole vault also delivered 10 points apiece for the Marauders with their successes.
“We knew we had to weather the last five events,” MV coach Bruce Kendall said. “How (the field) events go, so goes the meet, and fortunately we came out in good shape.”
Payne took the 110 in 15.02 seconds and came back to win the 300 in 41.09, beating runner-up Sean Thompson of Lapel in both races.
Hine teamed with Kyle Forsythe to go 1-2 in the pole vault, with the winning height 12 feet and second place 11-6.
MV also claimed the top two spots in the shot put, as Gutierrez threw 45-3 and Brayton Shannon 44-4. EH’s Brenden Box was next.
In the 3,200 relay, MV and Lapel battled each other the entire way, and down the home stretch, Jordan House and Lapel’s Bailey Partington ran neck-and-neck before House hit the line 6/100ths of a second in front. Ross Houk, Brisco Wood and Andrew Thaxton ran before House.