By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s boys track team leaned on an early advantage coming from the field events, fourteen personal records and a strong showing in the relays to collect second place hardware at the 18 team annual Tuscola Invite. Coach Ryan Hornaday’s group came up a few points shy of a very good ALAH squad in the final standings while edging a quality Salt Fork team.
“Hats off to ALAH, they’re really good. Based on seedings, they were 26 points better than us, but we closed that margin to 13 points after the final competition had taken place,” stated the coach. “With some changes here and there, maybe we can get even closer next time.”
Five personal bests took place early in the field events. Chris Boyd launched a monstrous career best 56.82-foot throw in the shot put to win the event. Haven Hatfield scored points as well in the shot taking fourth overall but it was his effort in the discus that turned some heads. The senior destroyed his best effort as of yet in the disc eclipsing the 141-foot mark capturing second place overall. Boyd was one spot back in third overall.
Connor Lewis and Will Foltz collected some gold medals with personal records of their own. Lewis touched the sand at 20.93-feet putting him at the top of the podium. Foltz landed on top as well, clearing 13 feet in the pole vault. Tristan Gadomski fell a bit outside the placing spots but set a PR on the triple with a leap of just under 35 feet.
Lewis and Foltz struck gold again in the relays. Lewis joined up with Hunter Branca, Krish Patel and Ben Hornaday in the 4×200-meter. Hornaday anchored the race breaking the tape in one minute 34 seconds earning first place team points and was just under a half second away from the automatic state-qualifying standard. Hornaday then led off the first place 4×400 relay handing off to Josiah Hortin, who passed the baton to Branca before Logan Wallace sped away in the final leg crossing the line in 3:36. Wallace, Hortin and Foltz donated more first place points to the cause, welcoming Riley Nolan into the mix in the 4×800(8:46).
Jackson Barrett was the highest placer in the individual races taking third in the 3200-meter with a PR of 4:47. Hornaday in the open 100, Hortin in the open 800, Barrett in the 1600 and Gadomski in the 300-high hurdles all donated fourth place points to the teams score sheet. Wallace found fifth place points in the 400 finishing in 55.07. Freshman David Hornaday continues to improve in both hurdle events. The first year runner set a PR with a 20.49 in the 110-meter highs.
“Super proud of all our guys regardless if they were in four events, one event, or no events. Being part of a team means being selfless,” Hornaday said. “We had several guys who made significant contributions to the team by raking sand, marking distances, and simply screaming their heads off for someone running down the track. Josiah Hortin’s time in the 800 was the fifth best since 2010; Jackson’s times in the 1600 and 3200 are the second and third best from the same time frame. Both Chris and Haven in the throws were two of the best in recent history and met the automatic state qualifying distance if they can repeat the effort at sectionals. Will Foltz and Connor Lewis were in the same boat in their events both reaching qualifying heights and distances.”