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Greenwood distance runner picks up top individual honor

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Eric Moore didn’t have a quality view of his boys track and field program winning its 16th consecutive Johnson County Meet.

A shortage of workers put the Center Grove coach in charge of the girls and boys pole-vault competitions Tuesday at Franklin Community High School.

From the facility’s southeast corner Moore saw glimpses of senior Justin Veteto lowering two meet records in the hurdles events as the Trojans outpointed Whiteland 166-153.

Franklin edged out Greenwood 115-112 for third place despite the Woodmen fielding the Performer of the Meet in senior David Dalton, winner of the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.

Dalton used a strong final kick to pass Center Grove junior Grant Stapleton in a time of 4:34.02 in the 1,600. His 3,200 didn’t contain such suspense, as Dalton ran a 9:39.99 to win by 30 seconds over runner-up Griffin Miller of Center Grove.

“(Performer of the Meet) was one of my goals coming into this season,” said Dalton, who will run cross-country and track at Purdue University beginning late this summer. “My times today weren’t my best, but they were good compared to previous times.”

Dalton’s soon-to-be-Boilermaker teammate had himself quite an evening, as well, as Veteto clocked new county meet standards of 14.09 and 38.30 seconds in the 110 and 300 hurdles, respectively.

Veteto also supplied the punctuation mark on the meet, his impressive anchor leg in the 1,600 relay enabling he along with Evan Tandy, Zach Hart and Zak Smith to win comfortably in a time of 3:26.89.

“It feels good. I’ve just got to work hard and it pays off,” Veteto said afterward. “Although my times were records I thought I could’ve done better.”

Moore wasn’t about to critique. Not from his vantage point.

“From what I saw, Veteto was awesome, but we’re still just behind as a team. We’re not finishing races the way I want to see, and Greenwood’s and Whiteland’s programs have improved so much,” Moore said.

“We ran a lot of young kids tonight. Two of our main sprinters (Max Norris and Lee Clinker) are injured, and if we get them back it could change our relays.”

Hart won the 200-meter dash for Center Grove in 22.27 seconds. The team’s other first-place performance came in the 3,200 relay as Brad Bennett, Connor Campbell, Nathan Fill and Reed Sauter joined forces to post a time of 8:40.87.

Runner-up Whiteland supplied four blue-ribbon efforts: Brandon Benson in the 100-meter dash (11.05), Brandon Patterson in the long jump (20 feet, 5 1/4 inches) and the 400 relay in which Benson and Patterson were joined by Jessie Street and Matt Fernandez.

Warriors senior Cole Wuest impressed in the pole vault in windy conditions by clearing 13 feet, 6 inches.

Franklin senior Reid Abney was a double winner, capturing the shot put with a best of 52-5 1/2 and the discus with a top throw of 145-3. Another Grizzly Cub taking two firsts was Hunter Chadwell in the 400 (51.77) and high jump (5-8).

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