As the fog rolled over the rain-drenched track, just one of 13 teams awaited the final results from the press box.
Just before 10:30 p.m., the meet ended: Nearly two hours later than expected.
A pair of lightning delays had extended the meet’s start time from 6:22 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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The boys, sporting purple and white, knew they’d repeated — but it needed to be official before they took a victory lap with the trophy.
Scoring 116 points, and edging rivals Jennings County by seven points, Seymour’s boys track and field team was crowned Bedford North Lawrence Sectional champions on Thursday.
Brownstown Central placed fourth at sectional with 70 points, Trinity Lutheran was ninth (26) and Crothersville finished 13th with one point.
Despite winning just two events — the 4×100 and 4×400 relays — the Owls used their depth to score points across the board.
“I’ve coached track a lot of years, and I probably can’t be any prouder of a team than this one,” Seymour coach Randy Fife said. “We came over here after getting beat by Jennings County in our three-way meet, our home invitational and the conference. I told the boys on the bus before that it didn’t bother me because this was the one we wanted.
“They responded tonight. We had personal records all over the place. We had guys moving up from trials to finals and scoring, which doesn’t happen a lot. We had kids that just competed. They just stepped up, we had some real competitors tonight and they deserved it.”
The top three finishes in each event automatically advanced to Thursday’s regional at Bloomington North. Those in the top eight scored team points.
Seymour started the afternoon by placing second in the 4×800, as Cooper Morrow, Alex Lovins, Luke Plummer and Bradan Thomasma clocked 8 minutes, 47.11 seconds. Jennings County won the race in 8:33.85 and Brownstown Central finished fourth in 8:53.72.
Joseph Barnes repeated as sectional champion in the discus by tossing 154 feet, 5.5 inches.
Seymour’s Nick Richert (124-7.5) and Blade McKinney (123-11) placed sixth and seventh and Trinity Lutheran’s Dylan McKain (120-0) finished eighth.
Barnes also won the shot put, for the second straight year, by tossing 54-3. With a throw of 41-5, the Owls’ Shawn Battice scored in eighth place in the shot.
Barnes, who hasn’t lost this season in either throwing event and owns both school records, isn’t afraid to look ahead to state.
“It is a big monkey off my back,” Barnes said. “I didn’t want to put a bunch of pressure on myself with the seeds coming in. I’m so glad it turned out the way it did. I came in hurt. I sprained my ankle last Saturday, so I’m just happy with moving on.”
Seth Ragon of Seymour, a two-time state qualifier, will return to the regional with his second-place clearance of 6-2. Owls teammate Max Otte hit 5-10 for fourth, and the Braves’ Andrew Kellermeier was seventh at 5-6.
Leaping 20-0, Brownstown’s Colton Ritz earned third place in the long jump. Seymour’s Lance Roark (19-07) and Otte (19-2) finished fifth and sixth.
Later on in the meet, Ritz set the new school record in the pole vault.
After clearing 14-3, the highest on the evening, Ritz was bombarded by teammates and coaches on the mat.
“It means a lot. We’ve put in a lot of work inside and out of practice,” Ritz said. “It’s a great feeling, but we have a tough regional. I’ve practiced with a lot of guys at the regional and will have to perform well to (get to state).”
Jacob Bollinger of Brownstown was runner-up at 13-6 and Seymour’s Jake Vance placed with a vault of 11-6.
Trinity’s Matthew McKay was champion in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.71.
“I was so happy after I hit that finish line. It put a big smile on my face,” McKay said. “I got my foot down and got to each hurdle fast. It was tough today. There was some really good competition here.”
In the very next event, McKay finished fifth for the 100 in 11.96. The Braves’ Grant Stuckwisch placed seventh in the sprint (12.0).
A tight 1,600 race saw Seymour’s Jacob Voss (4:33.89) edge teammate Hunter Bauserman (4:33.95) for third place. Jennings County’s Dalton Craig (4:32.24) and Franklin Sanders (4:32.73) took the top two spots.
Seymour’s Jake Vance, Jackson Morris, Gavin Blanton and Evens Cribs won the 4×100 relay by combining for 44.29. Brownstown was fifth in the event (46.41).
Vance also was second in the 300 hurdles in 43.10 and Cribs got sixth in 44.90.
Luke Champ was runner-up for Seymour in the 400, advancing to regional by hitting the finish in 51.83. BC’s Reece Covert was fourth (52.35), the Owls’ Conner Lane got sixth (53.04) and Trinity’s Sam Marksberry claimed eighth (53.79).
For the 800, Seymour’s Trent Hohenstreiter clocked 2:04.26 for third place. The Owls’ Alex Lovins finished sixth (2:08), Cameron Lee of Brownstown was seventh (2:08.66) and Crothersville’s Lane Wienhorst finished eighth (2:10.14).
Blanton was fifth in the 200 (23.76) and Morris got sixth (24.14) for the Owls.
Kicking it into gear for the final 200 yards, Trinity’s AJ Goecker — the reigning champ — won the 3,200 in 9:55.52. Voss (10:17.93) and Bauserman (10:36.35) were fifth and sixth in the longest run of the night.
“I think it was a lot harder this year than last year,” Goecker said. “It was amazing to have all the fans and other students, like Seymour, cheering. I would like to try and see if I can get a chance at moving on to state and knocking my time down even more.”
In the final event of the night, the Owls’ 4×400 relay team of Lane, Blanton, Thomasma and Champ won in 3:32.57. Brownstown was fifth in 3:41.82.
“The relay teams were phenomenal,” Fife said. “I love to see the relay teams do well because it shares the glory and celebrations. They did great.
“We scored in two places in several spots tonight. All three distance races we scored two. The long jump we scored two and in the high jump we scored two. We had two guys in the finals of the 200 that shouldn’t of made it. Jackson (Morris) and Gavin (Blanton) did it, they went out and competed.”
Seymour’s boys program now owns 22 sectional titles.
“I’m just happy for them,” Fife said. “They’ve pointed to this all year long. Honestly, I was wondering if we could get it done. I just shouldn’t doubt them.”