BLOOMINGTON – One was unexpected, and the other predictable but two Fort Wayne relay teams took home first place at the boys state track meet Saturday at Indiana University.
Carroll opened the running portion of the meet with a win in the 3,200-meter relay, while North Side closed it out in style with a title in the 1,600 relay.
The Chargers’ 3,200 relay team was made up of junior Eric Claxton, junior Alex Hess, senior John Hester and junior Jonathan Harper.
The North Side 1,600 relay team was senior Mohammed Bangura, sophomore Tyvon Kelley, senior Ed Benson and senior Kersten Barnfield.
“This is important to our team, our fans and our coaches, so we had to go out and give it our all,” Benson said. “I have been dreaming about this for four years. We thought we could do this last year, but we didn’t. We brought a couple of fast guys (Bangura and Kelley) in this year, and we showed Fort Wayne we are the real (1,600) relay team.”
North Side was the top seed in the 1,600 relay and had the state’s top time almost the entire season.
“There was some pressure, and we knew teams would be coming for us, but we just wanted to stay focused,” Barnfield said. “We just ran our race.”
The Redskins won in a school-record time of 3:16.95.
“We just wanted to run smart and win it,” Bangura said. “We expected to win, but not by a lot. We just had to do what we do, but just a little more. We knew if we had a school record, we would win the meet.
“I am still trying to describe this feeling because I never won a state title before.”
North Side broke out of a close race in the middle and ran to an easy win. Second-place Lawrence Central came in at 3:17.42.
The Chargers won in a time of 7:41.29, winning by almost three seconds. Avon was second in 7:44.00.
“I am basically speechless,” Claxton said. “I wasn’t expecting that. I got a lead for us, and I saw we had a chance. It was insane.
“They know that if I get up there, they can move up and up. We just feed off each other.”
Snider finished fifth in the event at 7:50.44.
In some other area results, Warsaw’s Spencer Reinhardt was second in the 800 and teammate Stephen Kolbe tied for sixth in the high jump, Northrop’s Trevor Wright was ninth in the discus, Snider’s 400 relay team fifth, Snider’s Mitch Dutton and Adam Williams finished fifth and sixth in the 800, West Noble’s Kevin Handshoe eighth in the 1,600, Carroll’s Ryan Cavender was eighth in the 110 hurdles and 10th in the 300 hurdles, and Warsaw’s Ellis Coon and Jacob Poyner was ninth and 10th in the 1,600.
Lawrence Central won the team title going away with 78 points. Snider was the top area team in 10th place with 19 points.