Boys and Girls Track Teams Win CIC

Posted on May 14, 2018 in Boy's Track, Girl's Track, Spring Sports

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
MIER–The Oak Hill and Eastbrook boys track teams bump heads several times during every season, so it was no surprise the two competed until the last event to decide the 2018 Central Indiana Conference championship.

Just over a week ago the Panthers edge the Golden Eagles by a scant 7.5 points to earn the Grant Four championship, but it was Oak Hill who came out on top Wednesday evening.

Junior Sammy Sommers and sophomore Tahj Johnson each broke a long-standing CIC record to fuel the effort and the Golden Eagles edged past the Panthers 184 to 178.5 to end Eastbrook’s two-year reign as CIC champions. Mississinewa ended third with 83.

“We felt like we left some points on the board at the Grant Four. We though that Eastbrook was a good as they could be at the Grant Four and we were off but I thought Eastbrook was better tonight,” said Oak Hill coach Paige Brunner. “Graham (Johnson) getting hurt kills them. When he got hurt some of our kids let their guard down because they thought we were going to win the meet easily but Eastbrook is too good of a team for that happen.

“The last four or five events we had kids fight,” he added. “We had a lot of kids buy in to getting thirds, fourths and fifths and we ended up winning another conference championship.”

Johnson pulled up midway through the 110 meter hurdle race, and was injured badly enough he missed the 300 meter hurdles entirely. He claimed both races at the Grant Four and he and Sommers are undeniably the two best hurdlers in the CIC.

“If you take his seeding, minimum its 16 or 18 points and go with that pretty much far and away he and Sammy were the two best hurdlers in the meet,” said Eastbrook coach Stu Goble. “You go with that and you don’t have to do anything extraordinary, do what you normally do he probably gets two seconds and minimum. But the hurdles are funny races. I always hold my breath through hurdle races.”

There was no such drama in the girls championship, Oak Hill captured its eighth consecutive CIC title with 184 points to beat a young and much improved Eastbrook team that finished with 184. Mississinewa had its best CIC showing ever running third with 96.5 points.

Early on in the boys meet, Sommers ran his preliminary heat in the 110 hurdles before taking to the long jump event. Brunner said that may have been the best possible scenario for his talented junior by helping him loosen up. Sommers delivered a leap of 23-feet, 3.75-inches to shatter the conference record of 22-10 set in 1978.

Johnson, as with all running events, faced a strong head wind as he entered the homestretch of the 400 but he cut right through it to finish with a PR of 49.58 and set a new CIC record. The old mark was 49.8 set in 1992. He also PR’s in the long jump with a leap of 22-8.25 to give Oak Hill a one-two finish.

“Sammy got to run hurdles during long jump and I think that probably helped him loosen up better,” Brunner said. “Tahj in the 400 with that headwind coming down the stretch, to run 49.5. The conference record was pretty quick. Kendall McCoy is someone that I grew up with and he was stud at Peru. I thought he was amazing and for Tahj to break that record puts him in some pretty good company.

“You got two meet records that we’re proud and happy to have, especially with that wind,” he added. “A cross wind in the long jump you don’t know how that’s going to effect the kids. We got good performances out of our studs.”

Oak Hill also went 1-2 in the pole vault with Caiden Lake and Gavin Holz. The Golden Eagles also won the 4×800 relay, Sommers won the 110 hurdles and finished second in the 300 hurdles.

Eastbrook got wins from Alex Baker (high jump), Drew Barajas (100 and 200), Ben Neideck (800), Nathan Brainer (800), the 4×100 relay and the 4×400 relay.

Madison-Grant’s AJ Jones won both the shot put and the discus.

Mississinewa had no event winners in the boys race but set a school record in finishing second in the 4×100 relay.

The Indians did have a double winner in the girls meet with sophomore Carli Fones and another school record from Beth Lucas in the 300 hurdles.

Oak Hill’s Auja Smith captured the high jump and Adrianna Trexler won the long jump. Margo Hornocker won the 800 and 1,600 while Mollie Gamble raced to the win in the 3,200. The Golden Eagles won the 4×800 and 4×400 relays.

“There was a lot of expectations and a lot of people wanted to reward them stuff before they ever competed,” Brunner said of his girls team. “Eastbrook is really, really good and lot of the other teams in the conference are vastly improved. We’ve got some talented girls that need to be able to help us. Margo isn’t the only talent on this team. We’ve got some girls who have been through a lot this week, Auja and Nana Trexler both have had a crazy week and both competed really well tonight.”

Audrey Altum led Eastbrook’s girls with wins in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Jenna King won the discus and the Panthers won the 4×100 relay.

“Our girls were awesome tonight,” Goble said. “Oak Hill has got some really, really good runners.

“I’m looking at it from the fact we lose one senior this year. I look at the future at our girls track team and I think we’re sitting in a good place,” he added. “We’ve taken a good step since last year and we can take another good step in this next year. We might be in a spot where we can take a good run at the conference next year.”

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