Pride and tradition are two things Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman coach Tom Kulbartz preaches to his track team.

The program definitely has a history of winning, and the message is apparently sinking in with his athletes.

For the sixth year in a row, the Buffaloes took home the Vermilion County track title, defeating the second-place Salt Fork Storm by 43.5 points.

Winning the meet might have been a greater accomplishment than the final margin indicated and showed just how far the team has come this year.

“We thought we were going to be weak coming into the season, but we just talked about how good of a program we were and more people kept joining and we kept getting stronger,” Buffaloes senior Dalton Lorenzen said. “I think it’s big to (the younger team members). I don’t think they realize how much it helps and how much it means to us.

“Walking in this year, we were slim and none on seniors. They had to give us a lot of respect in order to work alright. I think the way we’ve done this year, they’ve seen what it is like to win. I think in future years, they will continue to do good.”

The Storm were the last team other than the Buffaloes to win the meet (2003), and after seven events led by more than 30 points. Kulbartz admitted he was “sitting on eggshells.”

Much of the reason for Salt Fork’s early advantage came from the field events where Sean Nicholson placed first in the shot put and second in high jump and discus, while Cody Nicholson finished first in discus. Josh Chandler took second in long jump behind Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac’s Cory Whittington who jumped 19-5.

Nathan Fathauer also added points to the Storm’s total when he crossed the finish line just a fraction of a second before Hoopeston Area’s Brock Ramos in the 800.

But the strength of the Buffaloes squad started coming through when Matt Avenetti placed first in the 3,200-meter run, Devon Darnell took both 110 hurdles and high jump titles, and Lorenzen won the 400. Those titles were complimented by a host of second and third-place finishes.

It was only the second time Lorenzen ran the 400 and his success in the event is something Kulbartz hopes his freshmen and sophomore crew take notice of.

“It shows what you can do when you put your mind to it and put the effort out to get done what you want to get done,” Kulbartz said.

Westville senior Alex McMahon must have taken the same advice as he swept all four of his events including the 100 (11.1 seconds) and 200-meter dashes (23.24). He also won the 400 and 800-meter relays teaming up with Brandon Pratt, Matt Maser, Dustin Zaayer.

“Coach (Jeff) Millis said that the County, Conference and Sectionals are the (meets) we are working for,” McMahon said. “We are hitting our stride and getting better and better. It just proves that our work is getting there.

“My expectations were high and I felt good coming into it. I knew that we had top times in everything and we just came out and did it. I think we proved some people wrong. I think we just showed people what we can really do.”

In another positive sign of up and coming area runners, Hoopeston Area’s 1,600 relay team of sophomores Ramos and Kraig VanWieringen, and freshmen Robbie Irvin and Terrance Poke finished first with a time of 3:39.98 leaving them with high hopes for the future.

Recommended for you