Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Justin Becker, right, shakes hands with fellow competitor Avon's Isaac Guerendo after the 200 meter run at the Track & Field State Finals on Saturday. Becker placed first in the event and Guerendo placed second.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Carroll's Justin Becker races to the finish line during the 200 meter run at the Track & Field State Finals on Saturday. Becker placed first in the event.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Northrop's Shaton Vaughn, right, and Carroll's Benjamin Marano race during the 300 meter hurdles at the Track & Field State Finals on Saturday. Vaughn placed first in the event, Marano placed second.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Northrop's Shaton Vaughn stands proudly with his medal after finishing first in the 300 meter hurdles at the Track & Field State Finals on Saturday.
Saturday, June 02, 2018 11:20 pm
Becker, Vaughn win boys state track titles
AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette
BLOOMINGTON – Two Fort Wayne seniors returned to the top of the podium at the state finals at Indiana University on Saturday.
Northrop's Shaton Vaughn defended his title in the 300-meter hurdles, winning in 37.52 seconds, while Carroll's Justin Becker won the 200 in 21.50 the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.
Vaughn finished fourth in 14.29 in the 110 hurdles and used that disappointment as motivation in the 300 hurdles.
"I felt like for the 110 hurdles, I was thinking too much and I wasn't myself when I ran those, so I didn't run as good as I could have," he said. "After my coaches and parents talked to me, it helped me bounce back and run the 300 hurdles as myself like I know how to.
"The pressure most definitely (got to me) in the 110s. I didn't want to admit it at the time but me, during the 110s, I wasn't the usual me. I wasn't myself during the 110s."
Becker was the anchor leg on last year's state champion 400 relay team, but the 200 is his first individual title. He finished second in the 100 in 10.52, a new personal best, just .01 seconds behind Avon's Isaac Guerendo and ahead of Wayne's Craig Young, who was third in 10.58.
"It's my senior season and I knew I wanted to go big or go home and that's exactly what I did today," Becker said. "I came up short in the 100 getting second place to Isaac but he ran a great race. The 200, it was give it all I got and just pushed at the end. I saw Isaac coming on my right side but I pushed with everything I can. It means a lot. Beyond words, can't explain it.
"Crossing the finish line, knowing you got first is the best feeling in the world."
A disqualification in the 400 relay for the second time in three years cost the Chargers a podium spot, leaving Becker feeling ambitious heading into the final race in a Chargers uniform.
"We had big hopes from last year being state champs and I just used that disqualification (as motivation) in the 200," he said. "(The relay) was behind me so I thought, 'This race is right now,' and just focusing on that race (the 200)."
Carroll's Ben Marano got second to Vaughn in the 300 hurdles in 38.27, and Norwell's Dylan Felger was fifth in 38.59.
In the 3,200 relay, Northrop finished third in 7:48.46, and Leo was eighth in 7:51.49. The Bruins' 1,600 relay finished third in 3:18.77 while South Side was fourth in 4:18.77.
Northrop's Jalen Royal was fourth in the 800 in 1:55.41, and Wawasee's Luke Griner was eighth in 1:56.28.
Snider's Jesse Hamlin finished third in the 1,600 in 4:12.14, while the Panthers' 400 relay team was ninth (42.60).
In the field events, DeKalb's Isaac Brown finished sixth in high jump at 6-foot-7. Plymouth's Nate Patterson cleared a state meet record 7-4 to defend his championship from last year.
Churubusco's Sam Wood finished seventh in pole vault, clearing 14-9. Frankfort's Colton Crum won the event with a state meet record 17-6.25.
Avon won the team title 66-47 over North Central. Hamilton Southeastern was third with 44 points, Northrop fourth with 36. Carroll tied for sixth with Zionsville with 31.