KOKOMO — Evan Long earned a pair of first-place medals in last Thursday’s Kokomo Boys Track Sectional, and he did it two different ways.
The Tipton senior led the 1,600-meter run from start to finish. Four races later, he came from behind to win the 800 meters.
Long was not the only Tipton County athlete to have a good night and advance to this week’s Warsaw Regional. He will be joined at Warsaw by THS teammates Cooper Altherr, Caleb Farr, Jackson Money, and Izayah Mahaney. Tri-Central’s Augie Mueller also earned a trip to the regional.
Long’s winning time of 4:30 was five seconds faster than the time of second-place finisher Isaiah Wittenberg (4:35) of Maconaquah. Pioneer’s Leighton Dodt tried to keep pace with Long the first three couple of laps but faded to third (4:41).
Northwestern’s Colin Feazel sprinted out to the early lead in the 800 with Wittenberg not too far behind. Long, however, closed strong, sprinting past both Feazel and Wittenberg over the final 100 meters to claim his second medal. Long’s winning time was 1:57.64. Wittenberg’s time was 1:59.09 and Feazel 1:59.41.
Long’s performances helped the Blue Devils to a fourth-place team finish. Maconaquah took home the team trophy, scoring 110 points. Kokomo was second with 87 points and Cass third with 72. Tipton edged Madison-Grant 58-57 for fourth. Rounding out the team scores were Western 55, Pioneer 48, Eastern 44, Logansport 29, Northwestern 25, Peru 25 and Tri-Central 14.
Money was the first to punch his ticket to the regional, placing second in the high jump. The Blue Devil junior cleared 5-feet, 10-inches. Madison-Grant’s Clayton Hull won the event, clearing 6-0.
Farr, meanwhile, picked the correct night to have a career night in the pole vault. The Blue Devil junior passed until the bar was raised to 9-6 and easily cleared it. He missed his first attempt at 10-feet but cleared it on his second attempt and then needed only one attempt to clear 10-6, 11-0 and 11-6, which equaled his previous personal best. He was one of three vaulters to clear 11-6, sealing his trip to the regional.
But Farr wasn’t done. He missed his first two tries at 12-0 but cleared on his third. When Maconaquah’s Kyler Hanson missed his third attempt at 12-feet, Farr was assured of second place. Farr was unable to clear 12-6, though he came close on his second attempt.
Western’s Camden Oyler cleared 12-6 on his second attempt and went on to clear 13-3 and win the event.
Altherr placed fourth in a very tight 110-meter high hurdles final. Peru’s Braxton Strong won with a time of 15.27 seconds. Kokomo’s Jamaree Mc-Clinton was second (15.49) and Maconaquah’s Brady Dausch (15.91) out-leaned Altherr (15.95) at the finish to claim third and earn the automatic trip to the regional.
Altherr came back in the 300 hurdles to edge out Dausch for second place. McClinton won with a time of 49.94. Altherr finished in 41.63 seconds and Dausch 41.79.
Over the weekend, Altherr found out he also will advance in the high hurdles.
Mahaney was another Blue Devil to get a phone call that he would be competing in the regional. The Tipton freshman ran a personal- best 23.48 seconds in lane 9 no less — to place fourth in the 200-meter dash. Maconaquah’s Josiah Ball won the race in 22.83 seconds. Madison-Grant’s Tanner Brooks, who earlier won the 100-meter dash, and Maconaquah’s AJ Kelly lunged across the line, with Brooks barely ahead of Kelly as the two went on to fall. Their time was 22.99.
Money, Altherr and Long ran legs on Tipton’s 4-by-400 relay team which placed sixth (3:45.36). Joe Clouser ran the other leg. Tipton sophomore Landon Spidel tied for seventh place in the high jump.
TC’s Mueller, meanwhile, placed third in the 400-meter dash. Kelly won with a time of 49.92 seconds. Maconaquah teammate Bauer Maple was second in 51.46 and Mueller ran 51.94. They were the only three to run below 53 seconds.
Mueller added to his ribbon haul by placing eighth in the 200 (24.32) and eighth in the long jump (19-9).
Ethan Gibson scored the Trojans’ other six points with sixth-place finishes in the 1,600 (4:52) and 800 (2:06.68).