MARION — Last season, Western’s boys track and field team captured a Howard County championship, only to see Eastern return the following week and deny the Panthers a conference crown.
Western made sure history did not repeat itself Tuesday.
The Panthers’ depth continued to outshine the field in the Mid-Indiana Conference championships, taking the team title with 152 points to leave little suspense before hoisting the hardware here in the steady rain at Indiana Wesleyan University, and in the interim, denying Eastern a fifth straight conference crown.
“It’s nice to have a difference like that,” Western coach Marvin Boswell said. “I’m proud of our senior leadership. The way our seniors have been able to compete and lead our younger kids — they’ve really done a nice job. I think that’s been the biggest difference we’ve had, and that’s what I owe a lot of this to.”
Senior Matt Grider continued his steady improvement from a foot injury, and swept the distance events to repeat as MIC champ, winning the 1,600-meter run in 4:29.50 before putting in a dominant performance in the 3,200, taking top honors in 10:09.46, 14 seconds ahead of teammate Riley Carter.
Fellow senior Brett Boswell was tops in the shot put with a winning heave of 45-3.
And the Panthers’ 4x100 relay team of Christian Glenn, Cameron Dessing and Zach Shahan won going away, nearly setting a meet record before settling for a :44.50.
“It’s hard to [single out] because so many kids stepped up,” Marvin Boswell said. “We had a lot of first-place finishes, but one thing I’ve always told the kids is you win championships by placing two in every event, and we came close to that [Tuesday] night. There were only one or two events where we didn’t, and we scored well in all of the relays. Whenever you do that, you’re going to be competing for championshps.