Tigers answer for 5th straight title

Tigers answer for 5th straight title

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Tigers answer for 5th straight title

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FOUNTAIN CITY, Ind.

During the Wayne County track and field relays, Hagerstown boys coach Kent Gray spends a lot of time answering questions.

It’s a fun change of pace from a normal track meet, but lots of math factors into results and it can be a tough event to follow.

But when the Tigers made their way to the bus after a cold, windy, rainy 2014 edition, Gray’s and girls coach Karen Matanich’s teams had the trophy firmly in hand.

It was never a question: the Tigers are county champions once again.

Hagerstown won the first five events Tuesday, racking up 72 points en route to a fifth straight Wayne County Relays championship.

“I was really pretty pleased given the weather conditions,” Gray said. “My 4-by-8 team, I was really tickled with, ran an 8:57, which was their best time of the year out here in this wind. So we had some good performances tonight.”

Lincoln won the meet in 2009 and the Tigers have won every year since 2010.

Hagerstown won the 440 hurdle relay (1:09.33), the 800 relay (1:45.24), the girls (11:13.79) and boys (8:57.7) 3,200 relays and the 400 girls relay (54.35) to start the meet, before Northeastern finally ended the strong streak with a 45.56 performance in the 400 boys relay, with the Tigers coming in third.

But Hagerstown responded with wins in the mixed medley (13.25) and the girls sprint medley (2:05).

The Tigers also dominated field events, taking first in the long jump (67-0), the high jump (19-4) and discus (420-5), while also winning the 3,200 relay run and the 1,600 girls relay.

“I had some really good performances — Aimee Hoodlebrink jumped 16-5½, I think, in long jump and we had some personal bests all the way around, even though the weather was horrible,” Matanich said, also highlighting a 90-foot toss in the discus by Kendell Combs.

Centerville was first in the boys sprint medley (1:42) and the boys 1,600 relay (3:42) and the Bulldogs finished second in 13 events for a second-place total of 48 points. Lincoln was third with 22 points and Northeastern fourth with 16.

The Knights won the thrower’s relay.

Lightning delayed the event for half an hour, but rain and strong winds continued for most of the night.

Gray pointed to Mason Bledsoe’s performance in the 3,200 and the 3,200 relay as well as Dakota Roach’s throw in the discus as impressive performances.

“Boys, we’re not quite as strong in the sprints. The girls are a little bit stronger there, so when you put us together there, it makes a good combination,” Gray said.

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