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Frontier League boys track: Indian River takes 5th straight crown


WATERTOWN — A shin splints injury didn’t hold Felix Garcia back.

The Indian River senior guided the Warriors to an impressive fifth consecutive team title during the Frontier League boys track and field championships on Wednesday at Watertown High School.

Indian River scored 186 points, while Carthage tallied 109 points for second place. Beaver River (80) finished third, while South Lewis (60) and Watertown (52) were fourth and fifth, respectively, out of seven teams.

Garcia captured the 400-meter hurdles and contributed to the first-place 400, 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

“I was planning on running my best for my team,” Garcia said. “This is my last year, I don’t want to be out of my races because of injury. I wanted to go all out, help my team out. I didn’t know I would be able to do it until I was on the track and I felt good.”

Because the Warriors have been plagued with injuries, Indian River coach Duane Dusharm was worried about the outcome. He had to pull many of his top performers out of events.

“It was great to see Felix do so well,” Dusharm said. “He got four golds. He deserves that. But we had other kids who really stepped up. Not a question, it was the depth of our team that pulled us through.”

Watertown’s Matthew Olney claimed the high jump, long jump, 110 hurdles and finished second in the triple jump.

Jakese Crockett took the triple jump and ran on the winning 400 and 1,600 relays for Indian River, while teammate Shane Davis captured the 100 dash and was part of the fastest 400 relay.

Tyler Wright claimed the shot put and discus, and Austin Millisor won the 1,600, took second in the 800 and ran on the winning 1,600 relay for the Warriors.

The 1,600 relay victory was the highlight for Garcia as he and Alize Jarrett of Beaver River anchored their teams for a thrilling finish.

“I knew I had this shin splint thing going on, and I was like, ‘OK, my top priority is the 4x4, and all the other races, they’re there, but I’m not too worried,” Garcia said.

Millisor, Ben Godin and Crockett ran the other legs of the 1,600 relay for Indian River.

“It was so close, and I’m like, ‘Oh no, Austin, Ben and Jakese ran so hard, I’ve got to pull through, too,’ ” Garcia said.

Godin claimed the 800 for Indian River after South Jefferson’s Matt Fee, who was leading the race, stumbled and fell as Millisor passed him while approaching the finish line. Millisor, a sophomore, then slowed to allow Godin to cross the finish line first.

“My teammate let me have it at the end,” Godin said. “I’m a senior and he thought it would be nice for me to get a win for my last race. So I’m really appreciative that he did it. It was definitely a nice way to end my league season.”

Dusharm endured a celebratory shower of ice water as his team emptied a large thermos over him.

Assistant coach Jade Montressor had experienced the same fate minutes earlier. Neither coach seemed to mind.

“It’s very nice for them to acknowledge the coaches,” Dusharm said.

Olney, whose signature event is the high jump, said the long jump was the highlight for him this meet. He jumped 20 feet, 9 inches, for his personal best this season.

Sam Benzing captured the pole vault for South Lewis for the second straight season by clearing 12 feet, 3 inches. Teammate Dominic Sabatini broke his pole on his last attempt and placed second with a height of 11-6. South Lewis freshman Dylan Durgan was fastest in the 3,200.

Marcus Flemming won the 200 for Carthage, and Jarrett the 400 for Beaver River. Jared Fullin was second in both the 110 and 400 hurdles for Beaver River.

Garrett Posey finished second in both the shot put and discus for Carthage.

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