Senior Nate Raber and freshman Lindon McDonald of Westview, along with Lakeland junior Evan Garretson punched their tickets to the IHSAA boys track and field state finals last Thursday with top-three performances at the Wayne regional meet in Fort Wayne.
Raber sailed a height of 15-0 feet to capture second place in the pole vault, seven inches ahead of third-place finisher Anthony Armstrong of Carroll and a foot behind event winner Jared Schipper of Fort Wayne Dwenger. Schipper, Raber and Armstrong each met the state qualifying standard with their vaults.
McDonald was just a couple misses away from winning the high jump. The Warrior rookie cleared a personal best of 6-4.75 feet, equaling the competition champion Trace Oswalt of Blackford, runner-up Carrington Robinson of Wayne and Jordan Feuerstein of Marion, who tied McDonald for third place. All four jumpers met the state standard.
Garretson finished second in the discus with a toss of 147-11 feet, four inches more than the heave of Wayne’s Jari Dada, who placed third. Russell Collins of Fort Wayne North won the discus with a distance of 152-6.
Two local entries just missed advancing to the state finals. Lakeland’s 3200-meter relay quartet of senior Mitch Herber and juniors Mishael Theis, Eric Herber and Joseph Trost finished fourth in their race with a time of 8:22.17.
Prairie Heights junior Zach Shepard finished fourth in the pole vault with a height of 14-0 feet, just five inches short of third place and the state qualifying mark.
The IHSAA boys state finals meet is scheduled to take place this Friday at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. The pole vault and discus competitions are slated to begin at 3 p.m., and the high jump at 3:30 p.m. Dash and hurdle trials start at 5 p.m. with running finals to commence at 6:15 p.m.