FORT WAYNE – While the cast of characters may change, Carroll remains a constant atop the podium for a boys track sectional championship.
The Chargers won their third straight sectional team title Thursday at North Side with 122 points, beating out Bishop Dwenger’s 112.
Every year we have done it with a new mix of leaders, Carroll coach Nathan Fitzgerald said. We have been very fortunate to keep reloading instead of rebuilding. Every year I go into it thinking this is going to be a rebuilding year for sure. We have kids who step up and deliver. It’s a culture. That’s what we want. They keep buying into it more every year. Our middle school program does the same thing.
The Chargers have won four sectional titles.
It means a lot because it’s hard to do, Fitzgerald said of the three-peat. There’s no given. We value it a lot.
The Chargers got it started with a win in the 3,200 relay at 8 minutes, 12.13 seconds. Carroll has won the last two state titles in the 3,200 relay, but the four runners from that state title group have graduated. In their place this year are Ben Schwartz, Wes Garrison, Kevin Salter and Jacob Schmeling.
We have been saying this for years that we expect our (3,200 relay) to go out and set the whole tone for the rest of the team, Fitzgerald said.
The newness for the Chargers was never more evident than in the 400 relay, with a rookie in the first leg in senior Drue Tranquill. The Notre Dame football recruit is in his first year on the track team after playing baseball.
Tranquill’s younger brother Justin brought home first place for Carroll (42.70) in the event as the anchor leg. Also on the 400 relay team are Sam Anderson and Blake Schumacher.
We always go back and forth of who is faster, Justin Tranquill said of his brother. But at the end of the day, it’s a team race, and we have a good time doing it. Being able to come out here and get the win with these guys is a great feeling and very exciting for us.
Cameron Clements gave Carroll some valuable points in the distance races, with a first place in the 1,600 and second place in the 3,200. Clements had quite the duel going with Concordia’s Zach Panning. Clements just edged Panning in the 1,600 (4:20.60 to 4:20.72), but Panning won the 3,200 (9:26.54 to 9:33.43).
Carroll won the NHC championship this year, while Bishop Dwenger was the SAC champions.
Eric Cagnet won two events for the Saints, getting first place in the shot put (50 feet, 1/4 inch) and discus (138-0), and Jared Schipper won the pole vault (14-0).
South Side’s Shaton Harris won titles in the 100 (11.00) and 200 (22.27).
Everything went really well, Harris said. It means a lot to me. I just want to go, go win state this year. This right here just makes it easier all on the road to state.
Also winning events were Blackhawk Christian’s Joel Shellabarger (110 hurdles, 14.83), North Side’s Tyvon Kelley (400, 49.22), Northrop’s Bruce Stephens (300 hurdles, 39.75), Concordia’s Nathan Sutaphong (800, 1:55.97), Snider’s Nik Moehring (high jump, 6-6), Leo’s Chris Horn (long jump, 21-5 3/4 ) and Churubusco in the 1,600 relay (3:24.06).