An incredible season almost became historic for the boys track team last evening. The Panthers missed out on their first sectional championship by just 18 points finishing second to Bluffton.
The Panthers started the night off in a strong position. The 4×800 relay team of Michael Neideck, Brett Holder, JD Kay, and Cole Kennedy kicked off the scoring by winning the relay in a season best time qualifying them for regionals. The Panthers also qualified 2 individuals into each of the finals of the 100, 200, and 110 hurdles.
The field events would also start to pile up points early. Senior Peyton Watson just missed on a PR placing third in the long jump and qualifying for regionals.
Freshman Brandon Huber would be the next to punch his regional ticket placing third in the high jump. Blayne Altum would also score points placing 6th.
The pole vault would provide another big point total. Zach Reid and Andrew Barajas would place 3rd and 4th in the event. Barajas would come through with a foot PR while Reid’s jump would qualify him to compete at regional.
Jake Taylor was next placing 4th in the discus.
The sprint races would bring more qualifiers for the Panthers. Keaton Cooper scored in the 100 and anchored the 4×100 relay team of Davon Wallace, Peyton Watson, and Logan Gunning. That relay team would place 3rd and advance to regional.
Dean Breedlove scored an 8th place finish in the 110 high hurdles.
Watson would qualify in his third event, the 200m dash. Running a personal best time to place 3rd.
In the 400 Ethan Keller would provide a second place finish and qualify for the regional meet. He would also put up a personal best time in the race.
The Panthers would pick up two more spots in the 300 hurdles. Gunning and Barajas had a difficult task being in a slower heat. The duo came up with two personal best times placing the 4th and 6th in the event.
The distance crew would not be outdone. Neideck would place 5th in the 1600m followed by an 8th place finish from Brett Holder. Neideck would join the parade of PRs with his run.
In what was one of the gustiest performances of the evening Neideck took the track in the 800, his third race of the evening. Neideck came up big placing 2nd with teammate Cole Kennedy getting 3rd qualifying both for the regional meet.
The final individual meet of the evening was the 3200m run. Connor White and Channing Cook would score big points placing 1st and 4th in the race. White’s race would qualify one more Panther for the regional meet. Cook’s race added one more PR to the list.
The final event of the evening was the 4x400m relay. The team of Keller, Ethan Cramer, Saxon Malonek, and Xaine Kirby placed 6th in the event giving the Panthers a total of 108.5 points.
This was the highest finish for the boys in a sectional track meet. A great way to close an incredible season.
Twelve boys will represent Eastbrook next week at the regional championships at Indiana Wesleyan looking to make the dream of state finals come true.