Carmel wins boys state track title

Carmel wins boys state track title

Gallery

Carmel wins boys state track title

By

Carmel’s Ben Veatch runs to victory in the 3,200 meters at the state track meet in Bloomington. June 5, 2015.

Carmel’s Ben Veatch runs to victory in the 3,200 meters at the state track meet in Bloomington. June 5, 2015.

BLOOMINGTON – Being a track and field coach at a major championship is like being an air traffic controller. Everything flying at once, coordinating with all parties to assure a safe outcome, supposedly oh-so-smooth.

Turns out that Carmel coach Ken Browner had nerves-of-steel pilots.

The Greyhounds overcame an early calamity Friday night and secured only their second state championship in boys track. (The other was in 2000.) Browner told them they would have to score in eight of 10 events in which they qualified, and they did so.

Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference teams swept the top four places: Carmel 49, Ben Davis 36 ¾, Warren Central 36, Center Grove 33.

With the possible exception of wrestling, Browner said, to win state in this sport might be hardest of all. This was Carmel’s 124th state championship and fifth this year (following girls cross-country, volleyball and swimming, and boys swimming).

“You have to have a lot of things in your favor to be state track and field champion,” Browner said.

In Carmel’s favor were victories by junior Ben Veatch in the 3,200 meters and sophomore Jalen Walker in the 300-meter hurdles. Walker dropped his time by nearly a second, to 37.44, and won by two-hundredths. He later contributed a 48.9 leg to seventh place in the 1,600 relay.

Marshall’s Stoney Prowell cruises to 2nd straight 400 title

Isaac James, not seeded to score in the long jump or 100 meters, finished fourth and seventh, respectively, for nine points. The Indiana University football recruit compensated for points loss when a top-seeded team in the 3,200-meter relay finished ninth.

Another soph, Ryan Lipe, secured third in the pole vault moments before Walker’s race.

“And then we knew we had Veatch in our back pocket,” Browner said. “I told Ben, ‘Win it, and we win the meet.’ And he said, ‘I got it.’ He just went out and closed the deal.”

Veatch said it was his aim to clinch it ahead of any drama in the closing relay. A dropped baton in that last year cost Carmel the team championship.

Veatch, the state champion in cross-country, ran away from all pursuers in the second half of the 3,200. He finished in 8:53.77, or 14 seconds ahead of second place.

“I run for the team,” he said. “I think that’s when I perform my best.”

The meet was delayed for 70 minutes by a storm warning, and the Indiana University stadium was evacuated. Thereafter, lightning bursts were confined to the athletes.

Ben Davis was as gratified by second place as Carmel was by first. The Giants outperformed the form chart virtually everywhere and had a double winner in junior Christian Powell.

Powell long jumped 23 feet, 9 ¾ inches and anchored the Giants to an out-of-nowhere 41.20 in the 400 relay. That time is No. 4 in state history, 26th in the nation and No. 2 outside the Sun Belt. The Giants juggled their lineup, inserting freshman Jermaine Hoskins second and running Derrick Jones third. Junior Chris Evans, who has committed to Michigan in football, led off.

“I told myself the whole track season to get first at state, and it happened,” Powell said.

5 things to watch at girls state track and field meet

Elsewhere

>> Bloomington South’s Deakin Volz raised his own state record in the pole vault. He cleared 17-1 and then 17-6, both better than the mark of 17-0 ½ he set last year. (His national indoor record is 17-11 1/4).)

>> Most improbable state champion was Hamilton Southeastern senior Francis Ehigbai in the high jump. Ehigbai, who went out for track after being cut in basketball, leaped 6 feet, 11 inches. That’s about two feet higher than what he jumped in junior high – when he last was out for track.

>> Brebeuf Jesuit senior Zach Snider, who lost in state cross-country in a finish-line lean against Veatch, was a runaway winner in the 1,600. He ran the final 400 in 59.5 for a 4:10.26 time. “This is a dream come true,” Snider said. “It’s been my goal my entire high school career to win a state title, and I finally did.”

>> Center Grove junior Cameron Tidd won the discus with a throw of 190-4. Avon senior David Schall, an IU recruit whose 195-foot regional throw ranks No. 6 nationally, was second at 184-4.

>> Warren Central’s Isaiah Thomas was denied a second straight 200 title by one-hundredth of a second. Bluffton junior D’Wayne Eskridge beat him, 21.39 to 21.40. Jones was fifth for Ben Davis.

Call Star reporter David Woods at (317) 444-6195. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports