The Lakeland Lakers dominated the field at the IHSAA boys track meet held last Thursday evening in Angola.
Led by five individual champions and three triumphant relay squads, coach Keith Thompson’s Lakers racked up a total of 143 points, 53 more than runner-up West Noble. The sectional title is the second in three years for the Lakers and fourth overall for the program.
Evan Garretson won two of Lakeland’s six individual blue ribbons. Garretson flung the discus 170—11.75 to take that event by over 35 feet. He later grabbed top honors in the shot put with a toss of 49-6.
Nick Byler broke his own school record in winning the 400-meter dash. Byler’s time of 50.39 eclipsed the mark of 50.44 he set earlier this month.
Other Laker sectional champs included Eric Herber in the 800 meters (2:01.97), Tanner Raatz in the 300-meter hurdles (40.90) and Tanner Oakley in the high jump (6-0).
Raatz, Dustin Cunningham, Joel Miller and Eli Wallace combined to win the 400-meter relay (44.52). Byler, Mishael Theis, Herber and Miller formed the victorious 1600-meter relay unit (3:30.80). Linking up to win the 3200-meter relay (8:18.39) were Theis, Byler, Herber and Joseph Trost.
Prairie Heights standout Zach Shepard claimed a couple of blue ribbons in the sectional. Shepard opened the finals by winning the 110-meter hurdles in a clocking of 15.19 seconds. He then secured the pole vault championship with a height of 15-3 feet, just three inches shy of the sectional record of 15-6 set last year by Westview’s Nate Raber.
Trey Kennedy placed second to Shepard in the pole vault (14-0) to lead the defending champion Warriors in the sectional.
The top four finishers in each individual event and relay race at the sectional earned a berth in the Marion regional scheduled for this Thursday at 6 p.m.