By GREG KEIM email@example.com
---- — BENTON — The Lakeland boys and Churubusco girls took the team titles in the NECC high school track and field championship meet on a chilly night Friday night at Fairfield.
The Lakeland boys finished with 144 points, followed by Churubusco 111, West Noble 110, Fairfield 85, Angola 41, Prairie Heights 40, Eastside 32, Fremont 23, Westview 22 and Central Noble 16.
“We came out and competed,” Lakeland coach Keith Thompson said. “We had some kids that had personal bests and on a night like this that is not easy to do. I couldn’t be more pleased with what the kids did.
“According to our seeds we should have won the meet, but I have been doing this for 25 years and know that strange things can happen in a conference meet. For the most part we placed where we were seeded or a little higher.”
Evan Garretson was a double winner for Lakeland, taking the discus (166-8) and shot put (56-7 1/2). His effort in shot put was a meet record, breaking the mark of 56-21/2 by Austin McClure of Churubusco.
Also for the Lakers, Nick Byler won the 400 (51.65), Tyler Raatz the 300 hurdles (41.46) and Tanner Oakley high jump (6-1). Byler, Eric Herber, Mishael Theis and Joseph Trost finished first in the 4 x 800 relay (8:08.91) and Jonathan Anderson, Dominic Christian, Dustin Cunningham and Joel Miller took the 4 x 100 (44.61).
Fairfield had a first from Cameron Kitson in the 110 high hurdles (14.79).
“I have been working on my speed between the hurdles with coach Bob Miller,” Kitson said. “It felt about like my time on Tuesday night in the preliminaries (14.92). When they announced the time I was jumping up and down and pumping my fist.”
The only other Fairfield hurdler to break 15.0 in the 110 highs was Matt Rush, who went on to run at Tennessee.
“I got in contact with him on Facebook,” Kitson said. “He told me if I make it to state he is going to try to come and see me run.
“I have always loved sprinting. I race my little brother and try to get my dad to race because he was pretty fast in high school.
“When I was little I used to stack things up to see how high I could jump.”
Westview had a first from Trey Kennedy in pole vault (14-0).
Brandon Arnold of West Noble was a double winner, taking the 1,600 (4:29.41) and 3,200 (9:57.99). Jaden Kreft won long jump (20-11).
Churubusco totaled 1097 points for the girls title. Westview was second at 96 1/2, followed by Fairfield 93, Angola 71, Fremont 63, West Noble 61, Lakeland 51 1/2, Prairie Heights 33, Central Noble 22 and Eastside 20.
Riley Miller won the 100 (12.59) and Cierra Lau, Danae Miller, Jessica Miller, Riley Miller took the 4 x 100 (51.54) to lead Fairfield.
Fairfield recently defeated Churubusco for the regular season championship by a score of 66 1/2-65 1/2.
“We knew coming in Churubusco and Westview had good teams,” Fairfield coach Darin Holsopple said. “We left some points on the track. We have been performing well all season, but tonight it was not as good. Some nights it’s your turn and other it isn’t.
“Riley Miller had a great night for us and our 4 x 100 relay was only .4 off the meet record.”
Westview’s Jeannie Bontrager, Grace Hales, Maddie Jones and Tori Wisler finished first in the 4 x 400 relay (4:23.71).
Amairany Cruz of West Noble was a double winner taking the 400 (1:01.95) and 200 (26.89).
Follow sports reporter Greg Keim on twitter @gkeim_TGN.