INDIANAPOLIS — Lawrence North won this round, but the Mt. Vernon boys track and field team gave the Wildcats a run for their money Thursday night.
The Mt. Vernon Marauders bested Lawrence North a week ago for the sectional title at home by a team-points margin of six (180-174). At the Lawrence Central Regional in Indianapolis seven days later, the Wildcats narrowly slipped past 73-69.5.
Both teams won a pair of regional events, while the rest were divvied up by 10 other competing schools, but the two programs will be factors at the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s state finals in Bloomington on Saturday, June 4.
Mt. Vernon’s George Burhenn posted a personal-best time of 39.41 seconds to win the 300-meter hurdles regional title — and nearly added a second with a runner-up placement in the 110 hurdles (15.22) — while Keagan La Belle reached a personal-best height of 15-feet to win the pole vault.
Overall, the Marauders automatically secured state final invites at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex at Indiana University in seven events and could make it eight with a potential call back in the 4×100-meter relay. The relay team finished fourth.
“We had them right where we wanted them. We had a great chance. And we have a really great chance of having our 4×100 called back. They ran a 43.39, and to get three relays to state that would great,” Mt. Vernon head coach Bruce Kendall said. “We just ran out of events.”
In the events they secured top-three placements, which netted automatic state berths, the Marauders continued to progress.
Burhenn, a sectional champion in the 300 hurdles (39.41) last week, won with the same time and was part of the Marauder’s third-place 4×400 relay that ran in a time of 3:24.05.
Last year at regional, Burhenn just missed the state cut in the 300 hurdles by placing fourth. Now, the junior standout, who decided to run hurdles beginning in the sixth grade will be competing in three state events next week.
“This prepares us a lot because not all of our meets have a lot of competition so having a lot of people pushing us every week and being right there really helps a lot,” Burhenn said. “I started (hurdles) in sixth grade because I wanted to have a chance to run with the middle school varsity team. No one else wanted to do hurdles, so I jumped into it, and one of my dad’s friend’s kid, Michael Tutsie, he ran hurdles in high school, so we went to him and he got me prepared.”
Tutsie was a 2017 Warren Central graduate and an all-state sprinter for the Warriors. His 4×400 relay team at Warren Central placed fourth at state.
Burhenn showcased his knowledge in not only the hurdles but as the lead leg in the 4×400 relay with Tristan Trevino, Wilbert Jones and Andres Langston.
The Marauders 4×400 relay team placed fifth during the 2021 state meet at Ben Davis High School in a school-record time of 3:22.65. The foursome included Jones and Langston last season, and the newcomers have them in position to potentially chase history again.
“This meet gave us competition. It wasn’t like it was a free gimme meet. It was a good race the entire way. Trevino kicked it. Andres pulled it together, and George, I don’t know how he stayed up there to be honest. He had three races on his legs,” Jones said. “If we were all fresh, I think we would have beat everyone by about 50 meters.”
Langston ran a PR in the 400 at 49.03, which placed him fourth and met the state standard, which qualified him for Bloomington.
Trevino was second in the 800 with a PR time of 1:56.02, just short of North Central’s Nate Killeen in 1:55.65.
“I knew the North Central kid was fast, and he’s really good. That was good competition. He really helped me realize how fast I am,” Trevino said. “Knowing he’s faster and I’m right behind him, knowing if I surge a little bit, I could pass him. I’m ready for state. That’s going to be fun.”
La Belle, Derrick Marble, Avery Williams and Caden Wildey ran the 4×100 that could push the group into the state meet.
Where the Marauders left no doubt was in the 4×800 relay with Joseph Blagrave, William Morris, Daylon King and Trevino taking second in 8:06.95.
“We want to prove that we’re better than last year as a team. We’re trying to get higher than top five (in the 4×400). We’re just trying to beat our previous years,” Jones said. “We’re just trying to be up there.”
The Marauders will get their chance at state where they finished in the top-50 as a team in 2021.
“In the last relay, our kids gave everything they could to make it in the 4×400. There’s nothing left. Normally, you can say, back off you’re good after their event, but not today. They had to go all out,” Kendall said. “Then, you have to come back. They are spent. I thought the effort was fantastic. I’m just glad we have so many kids going to state.”
2022 Lawrence Central Track and Field Regional Results
Team scores (champions): Lawrence North 73 (2), Mt. Vernon 69.5 (2), Ben Davis 54 (1), Brebeuf Jesuit 43 (2), Delta 40 (2), Lawrence Central 40 (1), North Central 34 (1), Bishop Chatard 27, Cardinal Ritter 26.5 (1), Cathedral 23, Yorktown 23, Park Tudor 22 (1), Southport 18 (1), Anderson 16 (1), Wapahani 16, Heritage Christian 16 (1), Pike 15, Perry Meridian 12, Speedway 10, New Castle 9, Decatur Central 7, Arsenal Tech 6, Liberty Christian 5, Covenant Christian 5, Pendleton Heights 3, Cowan 3, Muncie Central 3.
Local state qualifiers: Mt. Vernon – Andres Langston (4th, 400 – 49.03), Tristan Trevino (2nd, 800 – 1:56.02), George Burhenn (2nd, 110 hurdles – 15.22), George Burhenn (1st, 300 hurdles – 39.41), 4×400 relay (Burhenn, Wilbert Jones, Trevino, Langston – 3rd, 3:24.05), 4×800 relay (Joseph Blagrave, William Morris, Daylon King, Trevino – 2nd, 8:06.95), Keagan La Belle (1st, pole vault – 15-00.00).
Event: Winner, School Time/Distance
4×800-meter relay: Andre Davis, Tristan Powell, Ethan Powell, Nick Ostendorf (Lawrence North);8:02.29
Discus: Antoine Cooper Jr., Ben Davis;169-05
High Jump: Tremayne Brown, Anderson;6-04.00
110-meter hurdles: Danny Royster III, Lawrence North;15.22
100-meter dash: Jasiah Rogers, Park Tudor;10.91
1,600-meter run: Cameron Todd, Brebeuf Jesuit;4:17.68
4×100-meter relay: Ahmaad Duff, Jahmad Harmon, Elijah Jackson, Tyioun Clark (Lawrence Central);42.27
800-meter run: Nate Killeen, North Central;1:55.65
200-meter dash: Kemari Robinson, Cardinal Ritter;22.02
Long Jump: Abram Stitt, Delta;23-04.50
3,200-meter run: Krishna Thirunavukkarasu, Brebeuf Jesuit;9:25.12
400-meter dash: Nickens Lemba, Southport;47.79
300-meter hurdles: George Burhenn, Mt. Vernon;.41
4×400-meter relay: Abram Stitt, Luke Wray, Johnathan Chimbanda, Quinn Backus (Delta);3:23.11
Shot Put: Luke Himes, Heritage Christian;60-08.00
Pole Vault: Keagan La Belle, Mt. Vernon;15-00.00