Tyler Back likes it when his teammates ask how far he threw instead of what place he finished. The Jay County thrower takes that as confidence that he won the shot put, an event in which he qualified for state last season.
Back pulled another win on Thursday in the Central Sectional, helping Jay County win the boys track and field team sectional title. Jay County held a narrow lead over Central until the Patriots won the 1,600 relay and the shot put, the last two events of the meet, to pull away to the sectional crown. Jay County finished with 122 points in the final team standings, while Central finished with 105½ points.
The top four finishers in each event on Thursday advanced to the Ben Davis Regional, which will be held next Thursday. Yorktown finished third in the team standings with 92 points, and Delta finished fourth with 76 points.
For Back, winning shot put meant some late drama. He was in second place until his last throw, when he unleashed a mark of 51-feet-7-inches to win the event by more than 3½ feet. Back said it was the third time this year he’s had a comeback win on the last throw.
“I have no idea,” Back said when asked to explain the cause of the huge spike. “I just really got my heart rate going. I knew it was my last chance. If I was going to do it, that had to be the time.”
As the shot put was concluding, Jay County also won the 1,600 relay to help clinch the title. Dylan Cope anchored the relay for Jay County, and helped his team hold off Yorktown. The Patriots finished with a time of 3:33.73, and the Tigers were right behind at 3:34.32.
“We were hoping top two, top three in the 4×400 and came up with a win,” Jay County coach Greg Garringer said. “Tyler dug deep and came up with a win in the shot. It was a team effort.”
Jay County also picked up three other individual wins. Cade Price took the high jump with a mark of 6-1. Zane Shreve won the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.28 seconds. And Andrew Eley won the discus with a mark of 142-1. Shreve also provided second-place finishes in the high jump (6-0,) and the 110 hurdles (15.40 seconds.)
The victory marks Jay County’s first sectional title as a team since 2009.
“It’s awesome,” Back said. “We had one in basketball a couple years ago, and that was the best feeling ever. This matches it. It’s a great experience, I love it.”
Delta’s Mason Bechdolt was a multiple individual winner. He won the 100 with a time of 11.38 seconds, and also won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.95 seconds. Teammate Ryan Bickford also won two events, taking the 200 with a time of 23.24 seconds and the 400 with a time of 49.67 seconds.
Wapahani’s Drew Barber won the 800 with a time of 2:02.48, and teammate Macon Shroyer won the 3,200 with a time of 9:57.57. Yorktown’s Dan Smith won the 1,600 in 4:29.84. Central’s Cole Staton won the pole vault at 10 feet, and Burris’ Allen Bridgman won long jump at 19-11½.
Central won the 400 relay with a time of 46.47 seconds, and Yorktown won the 3,200 relay in 8:15.06.