The Elkhart Central boys track and field team won the Warsaw Regional on Thursday night with 68.5 points, capturing its first regional title since 1995.

Goshen finished second, Concord third, Penn fourth and Plymouth was fifth.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 teams were Culver Academies, Warsaw, South Bend St. Joe, Kokomo, and South Bend Washington and Pioneer tied for tenth.

Among other local teams, Wawasee was 12th, Tippecanoe Valley 16th, Manchester 34th and Whitko finished in 37th.

Warsaw has won three of the last of six regional meets and four titles since 2011.

The top three finishers in each event, as well as those that meet a standard time, height or distance, advance to the state meet at Indiana University.

The most anticipated moment of the meet was waiting for Plymouth’s Nate Patterson to compete in the high jump. Patterson had a seed height of 7 feet and was aiming for the Indiana state record of 7 feet, 1-1/4 inches.

Patterson started jumping when most competitors were finished and he was able to clip the state record and rewrite history. He stopped after clearing a height of 7 feet, 3-1/2 inches, ranking him in the top-five nationally this year. Patterson also claimed the top spot in the long jump.

Wawasee’s Luke Griner showed why he is one of the top area runners in the 800-meter race. Griner won the event with a time of 1:55.15. The top three runners in the event all finished sub-1:56.00 to prove how close the heat was and finished ahead of the standard time.

“He did what he wanted to do to get a regional title and took down the school record as well,” said Wawasee coach Doug Slabaugh.

Griner was near the front off the pack after the first lap, but knew he had to break away if he wanted a chance at the title.

Warsaw had two individuals and a relay make it to the state meet. Justin Fleming advanced in 1600-meter race after a third-place finish and Hunter Metzger finished tied for third in the pole vault. The 4x800-meter relay of Nolan Groninger, Xavi Ramirez, Taylor Mills and Tanner Stiver advance after finishing in third.

Eli Owen finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles for the Tigers.

“Justin went out a little slow in the 1600, but was still able to run a quality time and get through,” said Warsaw coach Matt Thacker. “The 4x800 ran their hearts out.”

Thacker, who has accepted the football coaching position at Fairfield High School, praised the work of the his seniors after the meet and reminisced about his time as the Tiger coach.

“(John Svinarich) was one of the lone seniors to stand up and run track this year and to give his all,” said Thacker. “That’s the kind of guy we’re after. John has a lot of character, so does Lucas Howett, Xavi Ramirez, Taylor Mills, Thomas Lemon and Fleming.

“I’m extremely proud of them. I’m very proud of this program, the kids, the coaches, the community and the parents. I’m not a good track coach, I just got lucky.”

Tippecanoe Valley sent two student-athletes to the state meet after their stellar performances. Dakota Parker moves on after finishing third in the 400-meter race (50.54) and Jameson Baker advanced in the shot put (52 feet, 5-1/2 inches) after finishing third. Baker just missed the cut in the discus after a sixth-place nod.

The state finals will be on June 2 at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex at Indiana University. The first events begin at 3 p.m.



Team Scores (top 10 plus local) – Elkhart Central 68.5, Goshen 56, Concord 43, Penn 34, Plymouth 32, Culver Academies 30, Warsaw 29.5, SB St. Joseph 28, Kokomo 24, SB Washington & Pioneer 22, Tippecanoe Valley 15, Wawasee 17, Manchester 2, Whitko 1

Results: 4x800 – 1. Elkhart Central 8:00.58, 2. SB St. Joseph 8:02.32, 3. Warsaw 8:02.94; 100 Hurdles – 1. Mitchell Ciotta (L) 14.80, 2. Harold Moon (C) 14.82, 3. Sam Tanner (P) 15.02; 100 – 1. Jakale Conerley (C) 10.90, 2. Jordon Freeman (CA) 11.09, 3. Steven Edwards (K) 11.21; 1600 – 1. Shane Pursch (CA) 4:24.96, 2. Nathan Dibley (EC) 4:25.22, 3. Justin Fleming (W) 4:25.63; 4x100 – 1. Elkhart Central 42.83, 2. Goshen 43.10, 3. Concord 43.10; 400 – 1. Milton Toliver (SBA) 49.05, 2. Harold Moon (C) 49.79, 3. Dakota Parker (TV) 50.4; 300 Hurdles – 1. 1. Quincy Armstrong (K) 38.62, 2. Deshawn Grace (SBW) 38.83, 3. Sam Tanner (P) 39.12, 4. Eli Owen (W) 39.86; 800 – 1. Luke Griner (WW) 1:55.15, 2. Tanner Sallee (N) 1:55.48, 3. Callaway Bird (CA) 1:55.51; 200 – 1. Adam Moon (EC) 22.22, 2. Terrell Pratcher (NW) 22.31, 3. Jordon Freeman (CA) 22.58; 3200 – 1. Thomas Rohr (R) 9:22.98, 2. Amani Morrell (SJ) 9:34.51, 3. Nathan Dibley (EC) 9:41.28; 4x400 – 1. Goshen 3:25.04, 2. Elkhart Central 3:25.54, 3. SB St. Joseph 3:25.88; High Jump – 1. Nate Patterson (P) 7-3.50, 2. Kevin Krutsch (PENN) 6-5, 3. Alex Scharpenberg (CC) 6-4; Long Jump – 1. Nate Patterson (P) 23-2.50, 2. Luke Beehler (L) 23-1.50, 3. Tayson Parker (NWN) 22-4; Discus – 1. Tyler Gilbert (W) 177-10, 2. Jack Kiser (PR) 165-11, 3. Liam Hesting (CC) 150-9; Shot Put – 1. Jack Kiser (PR) 54-3, 2. Brock Tauteris (G) 53-4.50, 3. Jameson Baker (TV) 53-3; Pole Vault – 1. Tyler BonDurant (EM) 14-0, 2. Dominic Nipper (PENN) 13-8, 3. Hunter Metzger (W), Lucas De Moya (G) 13-0.