Pilgrims open season with split versus Mishawaka, LaPorte

PLYMOUTH — The first meet of the year is always a little dicey. Especially with a young team. Even more so coming off of spring break.
Nevertheless, Plymouth’s boys track team got off to a solid start Tuesday, splitting a three-way meet with a loss to a deep Mishawaka squad — which put up 69 points to top the field — and a narrow 32-30 victory over LaPorte at home at The Rockpile.
“Being our first meet against two really good programs that have had excellent cross country seasons — both those teams were in the top 25 all year and placed at the state finals — we knew coming off of spring break is always a little difficult. You just have one day of practice and then you have a meet. It’s kind of tough on them, but I was happy with a lot of the kids,” said Plymouth head boys track and field coach John Barron.
“We really like our team. We’re really young in certain areas, we’re inexperienced in a couple spots — some kids decided not to come out this year and it’s hurting us as a team — but we’ll get better. We’re not going to worry about that, we’re going to concentrate on the kids we have. They practice hard and they represent our school well. To get a split tonight is great. It was really a great start. It was a well-run meet, and we had great weather. Overall, I’m real proud of them.”
While the Cavemen dominated with wins in nine events and a quartet of one-two finishes in both hurdles events, the 3200 and the pole vault, the Pilgrims took top honors in four events.
Plymouth notched three of those wins in the field as Dan Samuelson won both the discus and the shot — where he and teammate Adam Lacefield swept the top two spots — with respective distances of 139’6” and 48’1”, while Jordan Knapp followed up his 11.4-second victory in the 100 dash with a meet-best 20’11” distance in the long jump.
“Samuelson won the shot and the disc; his putting the shot at 48 feet is really good,” said Barron. “Knapp won the 100 with a good time of 11.4 and then he went almost 21 feet in the long jump, so he’s looking real strong right now, too.”
Also at Tuesday’s opener, Plymouth’s 1600 relay team of Matthew Lee, Michael Hartman, Mason Reed and Knapp placed second in their event behind Mishawaka, while Reed placed second individually in the 400 dash.
The Pilgrims will return to action at the Culver Academies Relays Saturday at 1 p.m.
“I like where we’re at,” Barron said. “I didn’t really have expectations coming in. We just told the kids to compete. A lot of these kids it’s their first meet ever at the high school level. Where we go from here is we’ve got to work hard in practice, and certain kids will be moved in certain events just because we haven’t figured out what their specialty area is yet. We’ll get better because they work hard.”
At Plymouth
3200 relay: 1. LaPorte (Anthony Didion, Dakota Dubbs, Nathan Gerick, Mitch Hubner) 10:02, 2. Mishawaka 8:22; 110 hurdles: 1. Jacob Lee (M) no time recorded, 2. Tim Clark (M) 17.5; 100: 1. Jordan Knapp (P) 11.4, 2. Cameron Thomas (M) 11.41; 1600: 1. Hubner (L) 4:37.5, 2. Miguel Lozano (M) 4:41.5; 400 relay: 1. Mishawaka (Adam Trejo, Thomas, Zack Walker, David Carlos) 45.9, 2. LaPorte 46.04; 400: 1. Aaron Hensley (M) 51.4, 2. Mason Reed (P) 55.8; 300 hurdles: 1. Lee (M) 45.1, 2. Carlos (M) 45.11; 800: 1. Hubner (L) 2:05, 2. Justin Duvall (M) 2:07.3; 200: 1. Preston Maxfield (M) 24.9, 2. Tyler Vann (L) 28.1; 3200: 1. Lozano (M) 9:57, 2. Jordan Annis (M) 10:01; 1600 relay: 1. Mishawaka (Thomas, Tyler Bradley, Mike Louderback, Hensley) 3:37, 2. Plymouth 3:42.7; Long jump: 1. Knapp (P) 20’11”, 2. Troy Bradley (M) 20’2 1/2”; High jump: 1. Robert Lambert (M) 6’0, 2. Stephen Galloway (L) 5’10; Shot put: 1. Dan Samuelson (P) 48’1 1/2”, 2. Adam Lacefield (P) 44’2”; Discus: 1. Samuelson (P) 139’6”, 2. Ackerman (L) 115’6”; Pole vault: 1. Matt Horsman (M) 10’6”, 2. Hensley (M) 9’.