GOSHEN — It took two days to complete the Goshen Boys Track Sectional.

But it was well worth the wait for Elkhart Memorial.

The Crimson Chargers claimed their first sectional title since 2008, as Memorial totaled 88 points, which helped them edge out rival Elkhart Central by four points.

Memorial coach Adam Homo sat and stood on top of the bleachers to watch his squad on Thursday.

On Friday, Homo was close to the finish line to witness the critical 1,600-meter relay.

"They've worked really hard," said Homo, who also led his team this year to its first Northern Lakes Conference title since 2008. "I was kind of worried a little bit about today after not being able to finish on Friday. Our 1,600-meter relay team really brought it. Central did a heck of a job in that race. 

"Buck (Elkhart Central coach Brian Buckley) and I were talking and were wondering what the team would be like if the two schools were together right now."

Memorial and Central are combining into Elkhart High School in the fall of 2020.

The top three finishers at the sectional, along with anyone else with regional qualifying performances, advance to next Thursday's Kokomo Regional.

After the second delay Thursday because of lightning and thunder, the meet was postponed until Friday at Goshen High School.

With only the second heat of the 1,600-meter relay and shot put remaining, Memorial was in first place with 80 points, while Central was second with 74.

The Crimson Chargers clinched the championship after placing second in the 1,600-meter relay. The foursome of Lashawn Whitener, Neil Terrell, Juan Cepero and Hazael Morales finished with a time of 3:26.32, which was a PR for them. 

Led by runners Jacob Holt, Spencer Stalker, Kennath Dennis and Kyran Pearson, Central won the relay with a time of 3:24.13.

Neither Memorial or Central had a competitor in the shot put.

Memorial captured first place finishes in five events. Those events were the 3,200-meter relay with Hazael Morales, Juan Cepero, Joshua Ekema and Neil Terrell (8:15.46), 1,600 meters with Terrell (4:29.21), 400-meter relay with Ivan Soeun, Derrick Woods, Damien Funnell and Curtis Peals (43.19), 3,200 meters with Abdessamed Boussaha (9:52.40) and high jump with Javon Forester (6-5).

"In the 4x8 my team put me in a really good spot," said Terrell who was the fourth leg in the 4x8 and the second leg in the 4x4. "I just wanted to relax until the final lap and then really kick it out and grind it out. In the mile I was a little bit sore from the 4x8 and I was thinking maybe I could get third and next week do a better job (at the regional). Coming into the middle of the third lap into the fourth lap I just felt something in me and I wanted to go for it. In the 4x4 I was a little sore from (Thursday), but overall everyone had a really good run and we had a good time."

Before the season, Terrell didn't have high expectations for his team. 

"I was really surprised with how the team performed this year," Terrell said. "I knew we lost a lot of seniors and they were really critical to our team. Everyone pulled together this year and did their part."

Boussaha went to the fence outside the track and hugged his mom (Ismahane) after winning the 3,200. 

"I love my mom," said Boussaha, who also placed third in the 1,600. "It was a good race. My legs are pretty dead after the mile, but I knew I had to get first to help the team. I just tried to stay in position and outkick people at the end."

Boussaha had the added challenge of dealing with a long delay before the 3,200. The meet on Thursday had two delays because of lightning of thunder, with the the first stoppage coming before the second heat of the 800 meters and lasting for over an hour.

"I just told myself that I had to stay focused and not lose sight of what's important during the meet," the Memorial senior said. "I warmed up inside. I wasn't just sitting down. I made sure my legs were fresh. I also drank plenty of water."  

Peals is also qualifying for Memorial at the regional in the 100 meters after placing third in that event.

Standing out for Central was Holt, who also placed first in the 100 (11.55) and 200 (22.59). Holt was also part of the Blue Blazers second place 400-meter relay team with Dominic Davis, Spencer Stalker and Kyran Pearson.

"I think I exceeded my expectations because I didn't expect to win the 100," said Holt. "But I knew I could get the 200. My 100 time wasn't that good, but my 200 time I was happy with."  

Another top runner for Central was Kennath Dennis, who came away with a first place clocking in the 400 meters (50.69).

The Blue Blazers also got a third place finish from Jonathan Decker in the discus.

Concord, which finished tied for fourth place with Warsaw with 57 points, was led by Jamyris Rice, who placed first in the 110-meter hurdles (15.02) and 300-meter hurdles (39.49).

Rice, who was a sectional champion last year in the 300-meter hurdles, feels he has plenty of room for improvement.

"I'm not satisfied," said Rice. "I could have run better. That 15.02 is probably one of my worst times. I PR'd in the 300.

"It's all about having a good form even when I'm tired."

The Minutemen also got a second place time from its 3,200-meter relay team with Noah Wright, Anthony Roberts, Luke Shoemaker and William Owings and a third place time from Roemello Moon in the 300-meter hurdles.

Providing points for Elkhart Christian was Desmond Wilkins-Maxwell, who placed second in the 100 and long jump and was part of the Eagles third place 400-meter relay team with Charlie Maxwell, Joseph Ndaiga and Donny Hilty.

For Jimtown, Alex Hohl placed third in the 110-meter hurdles.

It was a day of mixed emotions for NorthWood's Bronson Yoder, who placed first in the long jump with a leap of 22-25. But also in that event he injured his hamstring, which kept him out in his other events-100, 400 relay and 1,600 relay.

"I just tweaked it," said Yoder about his hamstring. "I don't know what's going on, but we'll get it fixed. I should be able to jump at regionals. I'm going to be optimistic and do the best I can to get healthy."

Northridge's Mason Puckett finished first in the pole vault with a 13-4 showing.



Team scores: Elkhart Memorial 88, Elkhart Central 84, Columbia City 72, Concord 57, Warsaw 57, Goshen 55, Northridge 55, NorthWood 52, Wawasee 33, Elkhart Christian 32, Fairfield 18, Jimtown 13, Bethany Christian 8.

3200 relay: Memorial (Hazael Morales, Juan Cepero, Joshua Ekema, Neil Terrell) 8:15.46; Concord 8:18.70; Goshen 8:20.88; Central 8:24.82; NorthWood 8:29.37; Northridge 8:34.44; Warsaw 8:50.21; Wawasee 9:05.66.

100: Jacob Holt (EC) 11.55, Desmond Wilkins-Maxwell (ECA) 11.57, Curtis Peals (EM) 11.62, Derrick Woods (EM) 11.76, Jordan Grindle (Waw) 11.82, Doug Hill (Col) 11.85, Michael Sievers (Col) 11.85, Jordan Williams (Gos) 12.08.

110 hurdles: Jamyris Rice (Con) 15.02, Tomas Fuentes (Gos) 15.40, Alex Hohl (Jim) 15.76, Garrett Miller (NW) 16.37, Jacob Wigent (Col) 16.44, Hunter Kolb (NR) 16.77, Jacob Bolt (Col) 17.05, Jared Hagerman (FF) 17.27.

200: Jacob Holt (EC) 22.59, Alijah Wade (War) 22.73, Landon Parker (NW) 22.74, Spencer Stalker (EC) 23.14, Doug Hill (Col) 23.34, Derrick Woods (EM) 23.39, Taylor Knight (NW) 23.67, Orlandor Clark (Con) 24.03.

1600: Neil Terrell (EM) 4:29.21, Landon Wakeman (Col) 4:30.48, Abdessamed Boussaha (EM) 4:31.10, Nathan Mills (Col) 4:33.37, Tyler Evers (NW) 4:34.36, Nathan Dibley (EC) 4:38.22, Drew Hogan (Gos) 4:38.47, Jon Eichstadt (NR) 4:40.06.

400 relay: Memorial (Ivan Soeun, Derrick Woods, Damien Funnell, Curtis Peals) 43.19; Central 43.60; ECA 44.18; Columbia City 44.60; Warsaw 44.71; Northridge 45.39; Concord 45.64; Goshen 46.08.

400: Kennath Dennis (EC) 50.69, Cedric Brenneman (BC) 50.74, Daveyon Sandford (Gos) 50.91, Hazael Morales (EM) 51.62, Kyran Pearson (EC) 52.73, Issiac Mitchell (War) 52.76, Isaac Daniels (Jim) 53.04, Gamaliel (Con) 53.23.

300 hurdles: Jamyris Rice (Con) 39.49, Tomas Fuentes (Gos) 39.54, Roemello Moon (Con) 40.18, Charlie Maxwell (ECA) 40.72, Alex Hohl (Jim) 41.11, Isaac Zmuda (NR) 41.90, Juan Cepero (EM) 42.28, Jared Hagerman (FF) 42.65.

800: Luke Griner (Waw) 1:54.21, Tanner Stiver (War) 1:56.76, Tanner Sallee (NR) 1:57.77, Elias Soto (EC) 1:58.38, Bryce Taylor (Col) 1:59.37, Michael Hammer (Waw) 2:00.76, Demetrius Gulewicz (Gos) 2:04.05, Anthony Roberts (Con) 2:05.95.

3200: Abdessamed Boussaha (EM) 9:52.40, Austin Miller (FF) 9:52.87, Spencer Hare (Waw) 9:58.34, Jacob Kissling (War) 9:58.83, William Owings (Con) 10:03.96, Jack Moore (NR) 10:04.26, Sergio DeLaCruz (EC) 10:05.59, Cole Johnson (Gos) 10:06.59.

Long jump: Bronson Yoder (NW) 22-2.50, Desmond Wilkins-Maxwell (ECA) 21-11.75, Daveyon Sandford (Gos) 21-7, Charlie Maxwell (ECA) 21-2, Michael Sievers (Col) 20-10.75, Nolan Sharick (FF) 20-10.50, Bryce Justice (NR) 20-8, Keagan Larsh (War) 20-7.75.

High jump: Javon Forester (EM) 6-5, Daveyon Sandford (Gos) 6-4, Alexander Scharpenberg (Col) 6-2, Tyler Metzinger (War) 6-2, Benjamin Eichelberger (Con) 6-1, Jai-Veon Qaiyim (EM) 6-0, Connor Lennox (War) 5-10, Jacob Bolt (Col) 5-10.

Discus: Liam Hesting (Col) 168-5, Carter Bach (NR) 144-0, Jonathan Becker (EC) 141-6, Ricky Howey (NR) 141-4, Kyle Dawson (War) 138-11, Drew Smeltzer (Con) 137-8, Garrett Anglemyer (NW) 136-10, Isaiah Tipping (Waw) 130-9.

Pole vault: Mason Puckett (NR) 13-4, Nicholas Bazzoni (War) 13-0, Brad Demitruk (NW) 12-6, Noah Sears (EC) 12-6, Brandon Wise (Con) 12-6, Xavier Rocha (NW) 12-0, Hunter Metzger (War) 11-6, Maxim Samuels (EC) 11-6.

1,600 relay: Central (Jacob Holt, Spencer Stalker, Kennath Dennis, Kyran Pearson) 3:24.13; Memorial 3:26.32; Goshen 3:28.59; Fairfield 3:28.88; Columbia City 3:30.97; Concord 3:31.03; Northridge 3:34.01; NorthWood 3:38.50.

Shot put: Liam Hesting (Col) 54-11.50, Isaiah Tipping (Waw) 54-3.50, Garrett Anglemyer (NW) 49-3, Nicholas Miller (War) 47-0, Ricky Howey (NR) 45-11, Braedon Marshall (NW) 45-3.50, Carter Bach (NR) 45-3, Yvens Reisacher (Jim) 43-4.

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