Harris helps G-RF/C to fifth consecutive crown
CATLIN – Tom Kulbartz enjoys watching his Georgetown-Ridge Farm/ Chrisman track and field athletes compete individually.
Truth be known, the veteran coach prefers the aspect of track that brings the team together.
"Relays," Kulbartz said. "We were hoping to win all of them, but we'll take four of five."
The relay success helped spark the Buffaloes to their fifth consecutive Vermilion County boys' team championship and the program's eighth title in the past nine years.
G-RF/C (160 points) got a strong run from runner-up Westville (137). Salt Fork (104) was third, followed by Bismarck-Henning (102) in the six-team event.
The Buffaloes not only dominated the relays but also set two of the five meet records in those events.
All five meet marks were set by the victorious Buffaloes with senior J.W. Harris coming within 0.16 second of an unprecedented four marks.
Harris captured records in the 100-meter dash (10.81) and the 200 (22.37) as well as anchoring the triumphant 800 relay (1 minute, 34.33 seconds) that featured Quentin Van Steenwinkel, Layton Warstler and Tyler Dill.
That same foursome prevailed in the 400 relay (45.06), just shy of the record (44.90).
"This is one of the bigger meets of the year," Harris said. "I'm satisfied."
Senior Joey Reisinger broke the record in the shot put (53 feet, 7 inches). The previous mark of 52-9 was set in 1976 and tied in 1987.
Reisinger also won the discus (141-5), edging Salt Fork's Sean Nicholson by 15 inches.
The final meet mark went to the Buffaloes' freshman-sophomore 400 relay. The unit of Devon Darnell, Robert Parker, Dalton Pickett and Marcus Haussy toured the track in 49.31.
Harris and Reisinger were two of three athletes to win two individual events. Westville senior Danny Lewis captured both hurdles races, each time beating B-H's Ian Park to the finish line.
Lewis was the defending champion in the 300 hurdles. He didn't let the day's strong wind affect his performance.
"It's all mind over matter," Lewis said. "You've got to fight through it. You've got to do it."
Lewis took the most satisfaction in how the Tigers' team has surged into prominence.
"As a team, we'd never won a meet until this year and we've won two," Lewis said. "It means more to me how the team is doing. Getting second is wonderful."
Other noteworthy performances were turned in by field event champions Jake Manning, from Salt Fork, in the high jump, and Alex Kentner, from Bismarck-Henning, in the triple jump.
Manning began the season throwing shot and discus, but he switched events because the Storm had no high jumpers.
"I've played basketball and have been able to jump, so I thought I would come out and give it a try," said Manning, a defensive end in football.
He cleared 5-2 in his first practice but never had exceeded 5-6 in a meet until winning county at 5-8.
Kentner never had won an individual event at the meet in previous years. He sailed 38-7 to win the triple jump.
"Each year I've gotten progressively better," he said, "and finally got it as a senior. It feels really good."
Hoopeston's Cody Eells won the 400 and was the runner-up in the 100 and 200, coming in under the previous meet record in the 100 (10.93). Freshman teammate Brock Ramos won the 1,600, matching the feat accomplished by his sister in the girls' meet.