LANSING | Like the best track meets, Saturday's T.F. South Invitational came down to the 1,600-meter relay. Those who know how close it was before the starter's gun went off weren't saying, but by the way Lowell and the host Rebels were piling up points, it was clear whichever school led the other to the finish line had a great chance to win the team title.
As it turned out, Lowell led everyone across the line, with T.F. South 0.96 seconds behind. Red Devils anchorman Kyle Eller edged fast- closing Jalen Woods of T.F. South at the finish, and the 10 points Lowell picked up to T.F. South's eight earned Lowell the title over T.F. South, 106-105.
Eller and fellow Lowell junior Mitch Leckrone, who ran the second leg in the 1,600 relay, had their fingerprints all over the scoresheet. Eller was part of Lowell's winning quartet in the 3,200-meter relay and won the 1,600 in 4:41.21, beating Marian Catholic's Carmel Howard by more than two seconds after running last at the start. He also beat the wind, a stiff, cold breeze out of the northwest.
"The first 200 is into the wind, and it was hard to make up that ground," Eller said. "I knew I'd have to make it up sooner or later."
Leckrone took second behind T.F. South's Joe Richmond in the 110- meter hurdles, but bounced back to edge Richmond in the 300 hurdles in 42.88, a decent time considering his fight with the wind for the first half of the race.
"That stretch for the first 150 was pretty hard," Leckrone said. "Then, with the wind at your back, it's a little bit easier."
Lowell also won both throwing event, and picked up a win in the 800 when Roman Huseman romped by more than 13 seconds.
Highland finished fourth in the meet, with Jake Baranoski's win in the 3,200 its lone title.