MUNSTER | A joyous celebration broke out among Munster’s boys track team after the public address announcer read that Hobart finished in second place.
And for good reason, too. The Brickies were the 2013 Northwest Crossroads Conference champions, came in undefeated in the NCC and favored to deliver another winning performance.
However, the Mustangs fired back after a dual-meet loss to the Brickies last week, compiling 138 points to win the league meet on their home track.
“We lost last week in the dual by three points,” Munster coach John Stamper said. “We believed we could have won that one and we believed we could win tonight, and we did it.”
Perhaps the biggest key to the win was the efforts of Miles Barilla, who won the 100 meters (11.41), 200 (23.57) and ran the third leg on the winning 400 relay (44.51).
“They went pretty well,” Barilla said of his races. “I think I’m going to have to do a lot better at sectionals, but it’s pretty good. I’m feeling pretty confident. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to win (the 200).”
On the girls side, Munster didn’t surprise anybody, winning its 15th straight conference championship dating back to 1999.
Providing some immense depth rather than outright domination of races, the Mustangs got wins from Sydney Gunty in the pole vault (9 feet), Saveda Majety in the long jump (17-0) and Brittany Barajas in the 800 (2:27.26).
“At the beginning, it started off a little rough,” Barajas said of the 800. “I was kind of scared, but then I thought, ‘Hey, this is my last race and I want to push myself as much as I can.’ The last lap was when I started to pick things up. I’m just very thankful I was able to finish strong.”
Munster girls coach Rick Sluder was proud of his team’s overall effort, and knows this win can be a boost going into sectionals.
“Sectionals will be tough,” he said. “West Side will be good, but it’ll be our depth again. We’ll have great field events all the way through.”
Hobart’s Celena Guerrero won the 1,600 (5:21.81), 3,200 (11:41.14) and 3,200 relay (9:42.39).
“We dropped a lot of time from our previous best,” Guerrero said of the relay. “It’s a nice confidence boost going into the postseason.”