FORT WAYNE – On a chilly, overcast night, the Wayne boys track team won its first team title since 1996 Thursday at the Wayne Regional.
The host Generals had 80 points to slip past runner-up Carroll’s 75. South Side was third with 52, and Homestead fourth with 49.
Coming into the meet, Wayne was ranked third in the state, ahead of fourth-place Carroll. Wayne also won North Side Relays and SAC titles this season.
It means a lot because it is something we haven’t done (since 1996), Wayne coach Tom Hogan said. It is special, especially with the small team that we have and those guys battling. It is nothing that the school hasn’t done before, but it has been such a long time since the school has done these things.
Carrington Robinson was involved in both wins for the Generals, in the long jump (22 feet, 6 inches) and the 1,600 relay (3:26.78). Robinson was also second in the high jump.
Wayne, though, had plenty of solid finishes, including Shamarcus Ford’s second in the 100 and 400 and Devon Stone’s runner-up finishes in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Ford, Stone and Lucas McCoy ran with Robinson on the winning 1,600 relay team, the last event.
At last week’s Wayne Sectional, the Generals were second to Homestead, 151-136.
They just scored points wherever we had to, Hogan said. They did a team thing. They were so disappointed after not winning the sectional. I told them they had next week, and I said two months ago we were a better regional team than we were a sectional team. They proved me right.
Carroll was second behind wins from Alex Hess in the 1,600 (4:20.82) and 3,200 relay (7:55.96), an event where the Chargers are the defending state champions.
I came in with the wind coming down the backstretch, and I wanted to sit and kick type deal, Hess said of winning the 1,600. It ended up playing into my favor and ended with a positive result.
Teammate Jonathan Harper was first in the 800 (1:55.95) and the 3,200 relay.
That’s what we wanted to do coming into the meet, we wanted to see how fast we could do and see if we could make the fast heats at the state meet, Harper said of the 800 and 3,200 relay. We have a good shot of doing it. Our coaches have done a good job of getting us ready for the big meets, so we definitely expected to do well.
Eric Claxton was also part of the 3,200 relay and made it a 1-2 finish in the 800, just behind Harper.
It all adds up, and we had a great team effort, said Claxton, who suffered a twisted ankle the day before in practice.
South Side’s Shaton Harris was the only athlete to win two individual events, getting first in the 100 (10.80) and 200 (22.40).
I was seeded first, so I thought I would just go out there and win, Harris said. I go into next week thinking I am going to win state, and then during the week train harder, get more sleep and eat well and get ready for state.
Also winning events were North Side’s Tyvon Kelly (400, 49.93) and Russell Collins (discus, 152-6), Concordia’s Jacob Reinking (3,200, 9:27.96), South Side’s Adrian Mable (110 hurdles, 14.02), Homestead’s Trevor Stanley (38.98), Bishop Luers (400 relay, 43.19), Bishop Dwenger’s Jared Schipper (pole vault, 16-0), Churubusco’s Austin McClure (shot put, 51-9) and Blackford’s Trace Oswalt (high jump, 6-4 ¾ ).