CROWN POINT | It took a decade in a new conference before Lake Central boys track won the Duneland Athletic Conference.
The first title in a new sectional took just a few months.
Undaunted by a move to a traditionally stronger sectional, the Indians won their first sectional in the south end of Lake County by edging the host squad 136.5 to 120 at the Crown Point Sectional on Thursday night. L.C. has 21 sectional titles and won at Morton last spring.
“Coming into a new sectional, we knew it would be extremely difficult, but to win it feels just awesome,” said L.C. junior Zach Bencur, who led off the winning mile relay that ended with mild controversy.
Lake Central’s Duggan twins had a big night, but Isiah Duggan became entangled with the lead runner down the stretch of the 1,600-meter relay. Andrean’s Shamir Johnson fell after contact with Duggan, but coaches and officials ruled that there was no intended malice on Duggan’s part and therefore no disqualification.
“(The twins) came through very well tonight,” Indians coach Rudy Skorupa said of Issac and Isiah Duggan.
Isiah was second in the 100 and won the 200, two spots ahead of Issac, and they were the final legs of the mile relay.
“A set of kids like that is always valuable,” Skorupa said, “but in all but one event we had someone score higher than they were seeded, including some guys that weren’t supposed to score points in events.
"All of that adds up.”
Senior Randy Trembacki avenged a DAC meet loss and won the 300 hurdles for L.C., and three-sport star Gelen Robinson swept the throws.
“It was great,” Robinson said. “It was a beautiful day for the team and a beautiful day to throw.”
Robinson, who is benching 320 pounds, deadlifting 550 and cleaning 280, set the school record in the disc (180 feet, 6 inches) for the third time this year. He edged wrestling rival Tyler Kral of Crown Point in the shot put.
The host Bulldogs won the 400 relay and got a pair of distance wins from junior Tom Cierniak, the cross country team’s two-time Most Improved Award winner.
“Since he came to high school he’s gained much more focus each year,” C.P. coach Keith Iddings said. “He’s only a junior, so we’re grateful he still has another year with all these things he’s learning.”
Third-place Hobart had three winners — Matthew Stewart (high jump), Nicholas Stack (pole vault) and Max Wilson (800).
Merrillville was fourth, as Austin Jamerson won the 110 hurdles and long jump and took second in the high jump on a tiebreaker. He was five inches below his high jump best and accidentally ran the 110 hurdles trial race twice because he didn’t notice a stoppage for a false start and completed the entire course.
“It wasn’t the best day because I didn’t perform to expectations in the high jump and ran (the hurdle trials) twice,” Jamerson said. “I got the wins, and that’s all that matters going forward.”