Don’t look now, but Center Grove’s dominance in county boys track and field is approaching two decades.
The third-ranked Trojans cruised to the program’s 18th consecutive Johnson County Meet title by scoring 188 points and winning 11 events Tuesday at Franklin Community High School.
Grant Mason picked up wins in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The senior also led off Center Grove’s victorious 4×100 relay to lead the way for coach Eric Moore’s squad.
“We come to try to win, but it’s a hard meet for us because of the great meet we were in Saturday at Ben Davis. Coming here, it’s hard to peak again,” Moore said. “For us, it was the first meet we ran all year (Saturday).
“But we did some great things tonight.”
Some of those things came through the efforts of senior Jackson Hohlt, who won the 300 intermediate hurdles in a time of 39.94 before returning to anchor the Trojans’ first-place 4×400 relay team (3:23.67).
Also producing individual wins for Center Grove were Nathan Fill in the 800, freshman J.T. Hodges in the 1,600, Christian Goines in the 110 high hurdles, high jumper Raphael Cruz and defending state champion Cameron Tidd in the discus.
Mason, who blazed a 10.98-second time in the 100, said performing well at Saturday’s Ben Davis Invitational proved a good confidence-builder.
“Going into the meet I knew Whiteland had some pretty good runners. I was pretty confident, but I stayed humble,” Mason said. “I thought at Ben Davis it was much more intense. I ran a 10.91 there, and actually, it was a photo finish, and I ended up getting third.
“(Ben Davis senior) Chris Evans was first with a 10.90, the second-place kid had a 10.9003, and I had a 10.9004. That’s how close of a race it was.”
Taking home the Athlete of the Meet award was Whiteland junior Djimmon Ogega, who won the 400-meter dash in 50.02 seconds and the long jump with a best of 20 feet, 4¼ inches.
Ogega also came in second to Mason in both the 100 and 200 dashes.
“I was pretty surprised, but I came out ready and was determined to win most of my events,” Ogega said. “I knew I was scoring points for my team … Grant Mason is a fast kid.”
Whiteland finished runner-up in the team standings with 146 points, followed by the host Grizzly Cubs with 96.
Two more juniors, Ryder Emberton and Jacob Ballain, also secured individual championships for the Warriors. Emberton won the shot put with a best of 56 feet, 9½ inches, and Ballain the pole vault after clearing 13 feet.
In the 4×800-meter run it was Franklin Community’s Josh Campbell crossing the line first in a time of 9:53.69.
Center Grove won all three relays.
Mason, Zak Smith, Titus McCoy and Russ Yeast teamed to post a 42.79 time in the 4×100. The 4×800 relay won in 8:11.03 thanks to Fill, Reed Sauter, Noah Rhoten and Zane Libke.