FORTVILLE — Every point mattered, and the final 10 proved the difference.
Mt. Vernon held a slim 170-166 lead over Lawrence North heading into Thursday night’s last event at the Mt. Vernon Boys Track and Field Sectional, so nothing was certain.
At least, it wasn’t until Andres Langston crossed the finish line as the final leg for first, and the host Marauders won the 4×400-meter relay in a 3 minutes, 24.80 seconds.
Lawrence North finished the relay in second at 3:35.90, but the Marauders’ seventh first-place medal was enough to give Mt. Vernon a second straight trifecta — winning the Hancock County, Hoosier Heritage Conference and sectional championships.
The Marauders tallied 180 points to win their second consecutive sectional title with the LN Wildcats in second at 174 despite tallying six first-place finishes and nine runner-up placements compared to Mt. Vernon’s five.
“The thing for us today was our throwers. They set four PRs,” Mt. Vernon head coach Bruce Kendall said. “The discus throwers were big. And a third in the shot. Just a crazy meet. I don’t know what to think.”
Placement points were key to the Marauders victory with four third-place finishes and a host of more in the top-eight. The top-three finishers in each event earned automatic advancement into next Thursday’s Lawrence Central Regional.
Mt. Vernon swept all three relays, beginning with the 4×800 with Joseph Blagrave, William Morris, Daylon King and Tristan Trevino teaming to post a winning time of 8:08.50 ahead of Lawrence North.
Trevino went on to pad the Marauders’ points total with a first-place run in the 800 at 1:59.90, once again, in front of Lawrence North.
He was also part of the 4×400 with George Burhenn, Langston and Wilbert Jones III. The 4×100 relay group of Keagan La Belle, Avery Williams Jr., Derrick Marble and Caden Wildey won in 43.40, while Lawrence North initially was disqualified for a dropped baton. The LN relay team later was awarded fifth after the DQ was overturned.
The unexpected setback loomed large for the Wildcats as the tug-of-war meet continued to unfold.
“We needed every relay,” Kendall said. “Win by 100 yards. That’s the plan. You have to get in the fast heat. You have to get out front to have a chance at state. We said our goal was not to advance runners. No. 1 goal was to win this thing, then the second thing was to advance runners. It’s still a team score. I’m shocked we won today. I can’t believe it.”
In discus, Roland Tremble and Owen Johnson took fourth and fifth, respectively, with throws of 128-01 and 126-02. In pole vault, La Belle was first at 14-feet, and his brother Brennan was second at 11-06.00.
“We haven’t been that good all year, and we’ve been practicing to come out and score as many points to help,” Johnson said. “In track, it’s definitely a group effort. One event can change the entire course of the meet. We all have to work together to come out with a win.”
Burhenn was second in the 110-meter hurdles at 15.16 behind Lawrence North as both teams seemingly chased each other at every turn, jump and throw.
Wildey and Marble were third and fourth in the 100, which helped neutralize LN’s 1-2 finish. Langston’s win in the 400 at 49.80 provided another boost, and Morris was second in the dash at 52.30.
Ren Davis was second in the long jump at 21-02.00, and Wildey took third at 21-00.00. Rex Cade of LN was first at 21-06.00, but the Marauders kept stride-for-stride.
“I scored it last night and we were 11 down. I knew we had to make up five points,” Kendall said. “When they went 1-2 in the 200, I thought, this is crazy.”
Burhenn won the 300 hurdles in 39.40 with a pair of Wildcats behind him and Brennan La Belle in fifth. Jones III was third in the 200, Keagan La Belle was third in the shot put at 45-00.00 with two Wildcats ahead of him.
Samuel Wilson was second for Mt. Vernon in the 3200-meter run at 10:01.80, while Liberty Christian’s Seth Price was a double winner in both the 1600 and 3200, which helped as the Marauders and Wildcats dueled each other.
It all came down to the 4×400.
“We were super focused on that relay. Our main goal was to place high, so we could get to regional,” Langston said. “We feel if we advance to state, then we’re definitely going to place higher than we did last year. Last year, we were fifth, and our time was 3:22. This year, we’re two seconds above that, so we’re in good shape for state.”
Eastern Hancock finished fourth in the team standings with 47.50 points behind Pendleton Heights at third with 54.
The Royals were third in the 4×800 relay in 8:53.30 with a group of Ashton Smith, Preston Markley, Ethan Sipes and Brandon Metz. Kain Sotelo was third in the high jump at 5-10.00. Eastern Hancock’s Smith, Houston Swan, Cole Rainbolt and Zach Arnold were second in the 4×100 at 44.70.
Smith was third in the 400 at 52.60. The Royals finished third in the 4×400 at 3:37.40 with a foursome of Smith, Sotelo, Jayden Stine and Markley.
2022 Mt. Vernon Boys Track and Field Sectional Results
Team scores (champions): Mt. Vernon 180 (7), Lawrence North 174 (6), Pendleton Heights 54, Eastern Hancock 47.50, New Castle 40, Lapel 35, Anderson 33.50 (1), Liberty Christian 20 (2), Daleville 12, Anderson Prep 9, Blue River Valley 6, Shenandoah 5, Knightstown 4.
Event: Winner, School;Time/Distance
4×800-meter relay: Joseph Blagrave, William Morris, Daylon King, Tristan Trevino, (Mt. Vernon);8:08.50
Discus: Quintin Fox, Lawrence North;157-09.00
High Jump: Tremayne Brown, Anderson;6-05.00
110-meter hurdles: James Vaden, Lawrence North;14.57
100-meter dash: Israel Jackson, Lawrence North;11.37
1,600-meter run: Seth Price, Liberty Christian;4:28.66
4×100-meter relay: Keagan La Belle, Derrick Marble, Avery Williams, Jr., Caden Wildey, (Mt. Vernon);43.40
800-meter run: Tristan Trevino, Mt. Vernon;1:59.90
200-meter dash: Anuyis Bryant, Lawrence North;23.50
Long Jump: Rex Cade, Lawrence North;21-06.50
3,200-meter run: Seth Prince, Liberty Christian;9:59.10
400-meter dash: Andres Langston, Mt. Vernon;49.80
300-meter hurdles: George Burhenn, Mt. Vernon;39.40
4×400-meter relay: George Burhenn, Tristan Trevino, Wilbert Jones III, Andres Langston, (Mt. Vernon);3:24.80
Shot Put: Jaden Freeney, Lawrence North;54-01.00
Pole Vault: Keagan La Belle, Mt. Vernon;14-00.00