NORTHWESTERN GIRLS, KOKOMO BOYS AND WESTERN UNIFIED ALL WIN IHSAA TRACK AND FIELD SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Western Panthers earned the school’s first-ever IHSAA Unified Track and Field Sectional championship. (SJ photo/Josh Larsh)

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – In the span of five days, Howard County schools hosted three IHSAA track and field sectional tournaments. When the trophies were handed out, all three remained in Howard County as Northwestern won girls sectional, Kokomo won the boys and Western won the Unified Track title.

On May 17 at the Northwestern Girls Track and Field Sectional, Northwestern won its second title and first since 2014 by cruising to a 50 point victory over runners-up Maconaquah (159-109). The Lady Tigers were led by freshman triple-winner Makala Pfefferkorn, who won the 300-meter hurdles, the long jump and was a member of the winning 3,200-meter relay team; she also placed second in the 100-meter hurdles.

Kokomo finished fourth but had a scare when 2017 state finalist Tionna Brown, a sophomore, appeared to injure her ankle in the long jump. She easily won the 100-meter dash, although she limped down the stretch. She also won the 200 but did not finish the 400 when she pulled up out of the block. Brown also placed third in the long jump.

On May 19 at the Kokomo Boys Track and Field Sectional, the host Wildkats took home a 39-point victory over second place Pioneer (127-88). Kokomo was led by a trio of triple-winners: Steven Edwards, Julian Wallace and Quincy Armstrong. Edwards won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and was a member of the winning 400-meter relay team. Wallace took first in the 800-meter run and was a member of two winning relay teams. Armstrong earned a blue ribbon by setting a Kokomo Sectional record time of 38.05 in the 300-meter hurdles while also running on a pair of champion relay teams.

Western senior Tyler Gilbert thrilled the fans by setting a new Kokomo Sectional record in the discus (185-9). The defending state champion is now a three-time sectional champ.

On May 21 at the Western Unified Track and Field Sectional, the Western Panthers took care of business and claimed its first-ever Unified title. The Panthers earned a 19-point win over runners-up Kokomo (120-101).

This week, Kokomo hosts the girls track regional on May 22, the boys travel to the Warsaw Regional on May 24 and Kokomo hosts the Unified regional on May 26.

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