FOUNTAIN CITY, Ind.
It was a result that made Union County boys track not mind the cold so much.
Strong scoring late combined with consistent placings throughout the meet to give the Patriot boys team a narrow team title in Friday night’s annual Northeastern Knight Track Invitational.
In cold and blustery spring conditions, the Pats piled up 107 points on the boys side, pulling ahead of Monroe Central with 98 and Lincoln with 97.
The Golden Eagles had led the boys team standings for most of the night, but strong results in the concluding events by both the Golden Bears and the Tri-Eastern Conference Pats made the difference late under the lights.
As you might expect, it was some happy Union County track athletes and first-year co-coaches Rich Padgett and Joe Davidson.
“It was an excellent night for our kids. They overcame some adversity with the weather and battling some injuries. I’m very happy with how they fought for every race, and every point, in each event,” Padgett said after his team received its championship trophy.
Davidson was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
“I really didn’t expect this (to win) at all, but a number of our kids improved their performances, and that made all the difference,” Davidson said.
Union County won with just one victory in an individual event. Clark Minges won the discus.
But the Pats had an athlete finish seventh or better in all 12 individual events, and were third in all three relays, piling up 18 points in those races alone.
It was a good night for Lincoln as well. Evan Underwood took the 110 hurdles, Ben Singer won the long jump and Trevor Gabbard captured the 800 meters. Brennan Parker of host Northeastern took the shot put, and Matt Carman of Union County and Alec Sheets of Northeastern shared first place in the high jump.
Lincoln won the boys 3,200-meter relay and Northeastern ran away with the boys 400-meter relay.
But Monroe Central’s Marcus Drummer was the boys MVP for the meet, piling up 26 points by winning the 400 meters, finishing second in the 200 meters and third in the 100 meters.
On the girls side, it was a battle between three schools, but in the end, Monroe Central prevailed with 115 points, while Knightstown had 113 and Randolph Southern 110.
Pacing the Golden Bears was girls MVP Katarina DiBiasio, who had more than 30 points by winning the 200 and 400 meters, finishing second in the 100 meters, and helping the 1,600-meter relay team finish third in the last race of the night, clinching the team title.
Area winners included Kennedy Kramer of Southern in the 300 hurdles, Tricia Spivey of Union County in the high jump, and Kassidy West of Lincoln in both 100 meters and the long jump. Kara Snyder of RS won the girls discus, and the Rebels won the girls 400- and 1,600-meter relays. Lincoln’s girls won the 3,200-meter relay.
The Anderson Preparatory Academy was a new team in this year’s eight-team field, and had a significant impact by finishing fourth in the boys team race and sixth for the girls. The small public charter school in Anderson had three individual event winners on the boys side, and relay teams from the school were second in both the 3,200- and 400-meter events.