Nate Trawick never wrestled before high school. After three years, he’s accomplished a lot.
He did two years of shot put in middle school, and he’s garnered many awards there, too.
The Richmond High School junior was an all-state selection in football, advanced to state in wrestling and is hoping to do the same in track and field.
Trawick took the first step on Thursday, winning the Connersville sectional championship in shot put with a toss of 55 feet. His second step will be next week’s regional. The top four in each sectional event Thursday advance to regional.
“It’s a great feeling to come out here and finally get my sectional championship,” Trawick said. “I threw well today. I could have had some better throws, messed up on some opportunities, but had some great throws today. Definitely expect to come out next week, place high.”
Trawick was one of two Red Devils to earn sectional championships as the Red Devils finished third in the sectional with 70.2 points.
Nick Thomas, who helped Richmond’s basketball team win North Central Conference and sectional championships last winter, finished first in the 400-meter dash in 51.78 seconds.
“It was an all right race,” Thomas said. “It was my first time using blocks today in a race, so I’ve got to practice coming out of them better so I get my time down a little bit more. But, overall, it feels pretty good.”
Richmond had the most sectional championships in the state entering Thursday, 65, with Elkhart Central winning 63.
Rushville won its 11th and the second in three years as the Lions earned 116.2 points, dethroning reigning champion Connersville, which was second with 112.
“Overall I’m pleased,” Richmond coach Ken Hittson said. “I thought Nick ran well. I think he can still go faster, under 50 seconds. He’ll have to run the 49 next week at the regional here to make it to the state meet, but I really think he can.
“Nate, he’s got the ability to throw a 60-footer, so we’ll see what happens next week. I know 54-something is the qualifying distance, so hopefully he’ll throw that and make it, because regional competition is going to be really tough next week.”
Other sectional championships from the area went to Seton Catholic’s Jack Brenneke in the 800, Northeastern’s Brennen Parker in the discus and Union County’s Cody Seals in the long jump.
Additionally, a pair of thrilling relay finishes went to area teams as Dakota Tipton anchored Centerville’s 1,600 relay team to a first-place time of 3:33.76 in the nightcap, and Hagerstown’s Matthias Ritter sneaked past Rushville in the final few meters of the opening 3,200 relay.
Mitchell Burelison, Brandon Dillman and Austin Mavity were also on Centerville’s winning 1,600 relay team, and Mason Bledsoe, Jevon Osborne and Alec Hicks helped Ritter win the 3,200 relay.
Richmond’s 400 relay team of Daniel Ekwealor, Brendan Hegg, James Mitchell and Austin Williams was second, while Jordan Spicer was second in long jump, Jordan Pennington was fourth in shot put and John Holland fourth in discus.
Northeastern finished fourth in team standings with 54.2 points.
Parker was second in the shot put, Jake Austerman was second in the 400, and Quest Schwab was second in the 200 and third in the 100. Shane Stiner, Schwab, Austerman and Tyler Sandlin were third in the 400 relay.
“We have multiple events going on and the kids are running well,” Northeastern coach Mark Kerkhoff said. ” … Can’t really complain with the kids. We had PRs from a lot of other kids in the hurdles, season-best times in the distance events too.”
Recently crowned TEC champion Union County was fifth after Clark Minges was second in discus and Mitch Snyder was second in the 300 hurdles, while Matt Carman was fourth in high jump.
The Patriot quartet of Joshua Nixon, Matt Snyder, Mitch Snyder and Seals was fourth in the 1,600 relay.
Centerville’s Trent Gentry was third in the shot put, Jacob Haist third in high jump, Dillman third in 110 hurdles and Mavity third in 400.
Brenneke is the first Seton athlete to win an individual sectional title in any sport.
“It feels great, working together. We’ve got the same goal every single time, just keep getting faster, keep moving on, and we’ve got a lot faster this year. We’ve set a lot of records, and it feels great,” Brenneke said.
Brenneke and teammate Jacob Stamm have set records for the Cardinals this year.
Brenneke owns Seton’s record in the 400 and the 800 and Stamm in the 1,600 and the 3,200. Both have helped the Cardinals set school records in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays.
Stamm placed second in both the 1,600 and the 3,200.
“Working with Jack, we really work off each other in practice and it’s really paid off for us,” Stamm said. “It’s great.”
Bledsoe also finished fourth in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200, and Ritter was fourth in the 800.
Lincoln’s Trevor Gabbard was third in the 800.