County track meet has history on its side

Interesting trivia questions can be mined from the list of team champions at the Johnson County boys Track and Field Meet.

For example, did you know …

Edinburgh flexed its supremacy seven of the first eight years the event was conducted, dominating the Elvis era with consecutive titles from 1955 to 1960 and another in 1962.

Center Grove didn’t win its first championship until 1974. The Trojans have now won 28.

Greenwood once rattled off three consecutive titles (1987-89); Edinburgh and Franklin Community (1963-68) each enjoyed six consecutive triumphs long before Center Grove became a juggernaut.

• Whiteland’s lone day in the sun came in 1982.

• In 30 years as Franklin’s coach, Mike Hall has guided the program to four county championships and 17 runner- up finishes.

Hall would prefer another title when the 62nd county meet takes place April 19 at Franklin, a facility so nice the IHSAA appointed it to host a boys track regional every third year beginning in 2018.

No matter the final point standings, Hall is happy the county meet remains important.

“It’s still the local bragging rights,” Hall said. “In our county the coaches know each other and the kids know each other. If you look at the history it’s been around for a long, long time.”

The Johnson County Meet graduated from cinder surfaces to all-weather ovals (Franklin High School had the state’s first in 1963). Western Rolls in time were replaced by Fosbury Flops the way stopwatches eventually gave way to sophisticated digital timing.

Eventually the boys meet earned a companion. The girls Johnson County Meet made its debut in 1973. Center Grove has won 37 of the previous 43 meets, with the other six titles belonging to Franklin (1985-88, 2000 and 2003).

If the girls/boys meets are flawed in any way, it’s the time of track season in which it’s run.

Mid-April often brings cooler, and sometimes downright chilly, temperatures — the type athletes don’t always like to compete in.

“I personally think it’s too early. I would prefer it be at least a week later. About a dozen years ago it was changed to this time, but it is what it is,” Hall said.

Center Grove boys coach Eric Moore also believes it’s too early. Considering his program has won 17 straight county championships since he arrived in 1999, it’s the one area he can zero in on.

“I like it because it gives everyone in the county a chance to interact. It’s fun to see the other coaches, who all do an unbelievable job,” Moore said. “And now we have two of the finest track venues anywhere with Franklin and Whiteland.

“Franklin does an amazing job hosting it.”

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. Send comments to

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at