RENSSELAER | Kankakee Valley was looking to win its first sectional title in two years at Rensselaer on Thursday night.
The big question was whether the Kougars would score enough points in the last three or four events to get it done.
K.V. scored in the 200, 1,600 and 3,200 and won the 1,600 relay, but it wasn‘t enough as Winamac scored in the high jump and placed second in the 1,600 relay to win 116 ½ to 110.
“Hats off to Winamac,” K.V. coach Dan Roberts said. “We knew coming in that they were the team to beat.”
The Kougars picked up six firsts on the night, including all three relays.
“We really, really, really performed well,” Roberts said. “We had six first. We had PRs by a lot of kids. I was really pleased with our performances.
“Derick Tesh had a monster meet with three first places. Mike Smith was huge.”
“Everybody stepped up as a team, and everybody did what they had to do,” said K.V. junior Tesh, who had a big hand in the win with three firsts. “We were hopeful.”
Tesh won both hurdle events, finished second in the high jump and was on the winning 1,600 relay team.
“I was very happy with my performance,” he said. “I wish I could’ve won the high jump, but I was close.”
The top four finishers in each individual event and relay advance to next week’s Valparaiso Regional.
Also picking up wins for K.V. were the 3,200 relay and the 400 relay.
Morgan Township’s indefatigable Alec Kostelnik cruised to titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. He’ll concentrate on just the 3,200 at regional, an event he placed ninth at the state meet last year.
“That’s been the main focus all year, so I’m just going to slim it down to that,” he said.
Kostelnik said his best time in the 3,200 is 9:10, and he’s shooting for that the rest of the way.
“Hopefully, I’ll run low 9s at state,” he said.