BLOOMINGTON - It was an emotional time for the Snider boy’s track program Saturday night as they packed up at the Indiana University track. A season that began with so much promise just a few months ago ended with a 10th-place finish in the state track meet with 19 points. In the final event (1,600 relay), the Panthers finished 10th, narrowly missing out on all-state recognition and a medal.
Snider was still the area’s top finisher. Carroll was 13th with 16 points and North Side was 21st with 10 points. Those two schools represented the area’s only event winners with Carroll winning the 3,200-meter relay and North Side taking the 1,600 relay.
The Panthers were led by an incredible group of 10 seniors, most of which were making their third trip to Bloomington. Their careers had been full of all-state performances, one title (1,600 relay in 2010) and several runner-up finishes.
This was going to be the year for several event victories and possibly a run at the team title. The Panthers placed fourth last year and returned most of their state meet competitors.
“It didn’t go the way we had planned,” said Adam Williams. “It was a long, tough learning experience. One of our coaches was retiring and we had gifts (scrapbooks). There were some tears.”
A nagging foot issue for Mitch Dutton and then a devastating hamstring pull to Shauntis Lewis at the SAC Championships was too much to overcome. Dutton and Lewis, along with Williams, were returning from last year’s 3,200 relay which placed second at state. Dutton placed second in the open 800 and Lewis was one of the state’s best in the 400. Those three would certainly finish in the top four in the 1,600 relay as well.
Instead, Saturday saw Lewis limp home in the opening leg of the 3,200 relay as the Panthers would eventually finish fifth in 7:50.44.
“Shauntis gave it everything he had, but when I got the baton, I was so far back,” Williams said of his second leg. “I ran (a split of) 1:54 but we just couldn’t get back in it. When Mitch got it, there was no way we could win so he backed off.”
Asher Scott ran the third leg of the relay for the Panthers.
Williams was hoping to save some energy for a state title run in the 800 where both he and Williams were hoping for a 1-2 finish. Again, the race didn’t go as expected.
“We should have surged going into the backstretch but we waited,” Williams said of the second lap. “Then we were boxed in. I finally could make a move with 100 to go and Mitch got free real late. (The winners) were gone. There was no chance.”
The result was a fifth (Dutton) and a sixth (for Williams) with times of 1:53 and 1:54 respectively.
“That was crushing for Mitch because he was certain he was going to win,” Williams said.
Because of Lewis’ injury, Snider couldn’t use him in the open 400 nor the 1,600 relay.
Snider also scored in the 400 relay (fifth) which consisted of seniors Kiwaunes Brown, John Nelson and Derrick Carlisle and junior Tyrell Swain. They finished in 42.37 seconds.
Carroll runners named All-State
Seniors Ryan Cavender and John Hester earned all-state honors for Carroll. Cavender placed eighth in the 110 hurdles (14.81) while Hester placed sixth in the 400 (49.35). Hester was on Carroll’s winning 3,200 relay. Cavender placed 10th, just missing a medal, in the 300 hurdles.
Homestead’s Trevor Stanley, a possible state champ in the 300 hurdles, was tripped up going over the second-to-last hurdle. He was in second place at the time but was unable to recover and finish in the top nine.
Northrop’s Trevor Wright placed ninth in the discus with a toss of 164-feet-8.