TRAVERSE CITY — In terms of drama, one couldn’t have asked for much more from the boys side of the Division 1 track regional Friday at TC Central.
TC Central emerged as regional winners by three-and-a-half points over rival TC West in a meet that wasn’t decided until the final event.
The Trojans took the crown when they finished fourth in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 3:26.7, six places ahead of the runner-up Titans, who ran a 3:37.79.
“In that 4X4 we knew we had to beat West by two spots to get the regional,” said Central’s Johnny Ackley, who ran the third leg of that relay. “We ended up getting a qualifier for states so we were happy with that. It shows how hard we worked this year. We weren’t sure how we were going to come in today but we did alright.”
Over the last several events of the meet it became a three-team race with Central, West and Flint Carman-Ainsworth all battling for the top spot. They were within points of one another, as all three exchanged leads over that time. But Central’s depth proved to be the deciding factor as the Trojans had a good showing in the 3,200 run with Kyle Dotterrer placing third (9:53.26), Cam McAulliffe fourth (9:55.84) and Nicholas Tarsa fifth (9:55.97). That set up a showdown between Central and West in the 1,600 relay. Central stepped up and met the challenge with Ackley, T.J. Schwannecke, Chris Brower and Anthony Berry running the third fastest 1,600 relay time in school history.
Central finished with 93.5 points, West had 90 and Carman-Ainsworth ended with 83.
“I told the kids everyone is important to what we do. There’s eight places. We don’t have to be first in anything, but keep plugging along and get our points,” said Central coach John Lober. “I had us scoring in 14 of 17 events. When you have that overall depth it’s tough. We’ve got distance runners. We’ve got some sprinters, some hurdlers — across the board. That’s where your team balance comes in. It’s a tribute to our coaching staff, their knowledge, their experience and to the heart our kids showed today. I’m really happy for our kids.”