CROWN POINT | From the moment Wes Honaker dove across the finish line in a last-gasp attempt to win the 100-meter dash, it was clear Crown Point refused to allow the sectional title enter the hands of any visitors.
Although Honaker, a sophomore sprinter for the Bulldogs, was second to Hobart’s Joey Curtis in the 100 by a hundredth of a second, he came back to run on the victorious 400 relay team and win the 200. By then he had helped establish a tone.
“We had guys doing anything they could to score every point they could,” Crown Point coach Keith Iddings said. “It was great as a coach to see that.”
The Bulldogs were in control of the meet all night and amassed 155 points to top Merrillville (119.5) and defending champ Lake Central (108) and win the Crown Point Sectional on Thursday night.
It was Crown Point’s second sectional title in three years and eighth in the 110 years of Indiana high school track. Lake Central was new to the sectional last year.
Gritty efforts were part of the program. Senior Tom Cierniak, literally an also-ran at the start of his prep career, edged Lowell’s Kyle Eller in the 1,600 and 3,200, waiting until the last lap to pass Eller on the latter.
“Eller is a great competitor; I let him do all the hard work,” Cierniak said. “Knowing we had a chance to win as a team made me push even harder.”
Cierniak repeated his sectional titles in the mile and two-mile races. Seven of the 13 individual champions were repeat winners in their events.
Merrillville senior Austin Jamerson, who’s headed to Cornell to compete in the decathlete, might have won 10 events if that were possible Thursday.
He had to settle for being repeat champion of the 110 hurdles (14.62) and long jump (22-11). Jamerson earned his first title in the high jump (6-4) and was a member of the second-place 400 relay team. All that on a balky left heel.
“I wasn’t thinking about winning as much as I was just trying to meet all the qualifying standards,” Jamerson said. “The team overall did well. We didn’t have the best dual meet season, but we were able to show up at the big meets.”
Hobart pole vaulter Nicholas Stack set a sectional record, bounding 15 feet, 6 inches to win a dual with Crown Point’s Jordan Kelly (15-3).
Crown Point won the 3,200 relay and took third in the mile relay, and Nick Faso’s runner-up finish to repeat champ Darius Mahome of Lew Wallace far exceeded his seed.
Crown Point’s Mitchell Kessler won the shot put, upending defending champion Gelen Robinson of Lake Central, who was third Thursday.
Robinson broke the school record in the discus yet again and won that event by nearly 25 feet.
“It was a good night for discus and not so much for shot,” Robinson said. “It’s all right. I’ll come around. There is a lot of good competition here.”