HIGHLAND | For his next feat ...
First-year Munster boys track coach John Stamper, blessed with great team balance, won his first sectional title Thursday night and the program's third overall, 113-95, over West Side.
The Mustangs showed outstanding depth by placing in the top eight in 13 of 16 events, five of which had two finishers.
"Having a brand new coach -- Coach (Aaron) Brown's been here more than 20 years -- and then they get me and, wow, still improving as a team," Stamper said. "That's a real compliment to them.
"Even some of the alternates stepped in. We only won by like 10 points, so every place was important."
The 2003 Kankakee Valley grad cited the leadership of seniors Tony Rigoni and Bart Grabowski as figuring heavily in the outcome.
"The kids see that and follow their example," Stamper said. "They're smart kids. They know what needs to be done."
Rigoni won the 800-meter run (1:57.26) and anchored the victorious 1,600 relay (3:25.41), while Grabowski was third in the 400 (51.20) and ran on the 1,600 relay.
"Everybody stepped up. We had a really solid outing," Rigoni said. "Our No. 2 runner in the 800 couldn't compete and Roger Jackma, who found out before the meet that he'd be running, was fourth.
"We have a ton of pride. It's a great bunch of kids and everybody wants to get better."
Top four finishers in each event advance to Thursday's Valparaiso Regional.
Bowman Academy's Cornelius Strickland figured in three firsts -- the 100 (10.69), 200 (21.62) and 400.