For the Daily Journal
The Center Grove boys track team wasn’t used to the fast-paced nature of Thursday’s Columbus North Sectional.
But that didn’t stop the seventh-ranked Trojans from having a field day. They racked up 193 points to 1442/3 for runner-up Columbus North to defend their sectional title.
“This is always a hard meet because it’s the first time you compete with boys only, and it’s a very quick meet,” Center Grove coach Eric Moore said. “Tonight was fast paced, and we’re just glad to get out of it.”
The Trojans won 10 of the 16 events. The top three in each event qualified for the Franklin Regional, while fourth- through seventh-place finishers will await word on possible call-backs.
Center Grove junior Grant Mason was a double winner, taking the 100 and 200 meters in personal-best times of 10.98 and 22.32 seconds.
“I feel awesome,” Mason said. “The weather was perfect. I feel like next week, if we have pretty good weather, I should run better times.”
The Trojans came up with a couple of season-bests in the field events. Cameron Tidd, the defending state champion in the discus, threw a season-best 178 feet, 3 inches to take that title.
Tidd, who threw 190-4 to win state last year, actually trailed Columbus East’s Rhett Myers, who threw 176-1 before Tidd uncorked his gem.
“I didn’t really expect that from him, honestly, but it was a good throw,” Tidd said. “I knew I had to get something farther.”
In the pole vault, Josh Hall increased his personal best by a foot in winning with a leap of 14-6.
“What we’ve been working on is my speed down the runway,” Hall said. “I have a big 170-pound pole that I haven’t been able to get on all year, and that gives me a lot more pull at the top. That gave me a little more pop at the top to get over higher bars. I’m excited to jump at regional against some of my buddies that I met last year.”
Jackson Hohlt won the 300 hurdles in 38.72.
“With all the work we do throughout the season, it’s starting to pay off, and our times are starting to drop,” Hohlt said.
Also for the Trojans, Zak Smith took the 400 in 50.66, Nathan Fill captured the 800 in 1:57.15 and JT Hodges won the 3,200 in 9:40.29.
Center Grove also took the 4×100 (43.40) and 4×400 (3:25.58) relays.
“I thought our 800-meter guys were the difference tonight when they were able to get first and second in that,” Moore said. “Our young 3,200-meter kid coming from behind to win it, and our 300 hurdler was great. Our relays were super tonight, and Cam Tidd in the discus was great. Grant Mason in the 100 and 200 dominated.”
Franklin finished third with 103 1/3 points. The Grizzly Cubs were led by a win in from Samuel Barnett in the 110 hurdles (14.95).
Greenwood took fifth with 48 points. The Woodmen won the 4×800 relay in 8:02.75, and Ethan Pine captured the 1,600 in a personal-best 4:29.23
“I’ve never won anything before, so this is pretty exciting,” Pine said.
Indian Creek finished sixth with 22 points. Edinburgh was ninth with five points.