KOUTS | Sitting in a hospital bed on Tuesday afternoon, the last thing Brandon Hogge was thinking about was competing in the Porter County Conference Boys Track and Field championships in Kouts on Thursday.
The Washington Township senior spent the day in the hospital after suffering from dehydration, but was back on the track on Thursday as Hogge won two events while setting a new meet record in the 200 meter dash (22.73).
Hogge also added a first-place finish in the 100 meter dash (11.45) on a day when Hebron snapped Hanover Central's six-year reign as team champions.
"This week was a little rough for me," Hogge said. "Coming into today, I wasn't even sure what I was all going to be doing."
In Hogge's record-breaking 200 meter dash run, the senior barely edged out rival Isaiah Thomas (Morgan Township). The two were stride-for-stride for the entire race before Hogge stuck his chest across the finish line before Thomas could extend his hand.
"I was just trying to make my strides a little longer," Hogge said. "My coaches were telling me that I was taking too many short, quick strides. I just wanted to get out in front and open it up a bit."
The Hawks received a strong individual performance from junior Jasen Egolf and the rest of the team contributed across the board as Hebron avenged last season's close conference meet loss to Hanover Central.
After going undefeated in the round robin over the last two years, the Hawks became the first team in the last seven years to taste victory at the conference meet, edging out the Wildcats 125-105.5.
"This was one of our main goals heading into the season," Hebron coach Mike DeFries said. "We had people coming through in a lot of places today that we didn't really expect to get points from. Our guys have been working hard and they've been working towards this all season."
Egolf had first-place finishes in the 800 meter run (2:07.09) and the 1,600 meter run (4:31.43) as well as the event-opening 3200 meter relay (9:14.13). The junior finished off his meet with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200 meter run.
"I was pretty tired when this was all over," Egolf said. "This win feels really good. This is a big boost for us heading into sectionals."