FORT WAYNE — It was a big day for Ben Snider. It was a huge day for Troy Tonner.
The Adams Central juniors turned in some of the best performances of their lives as Tonner won both the shot and discus, setting the AC record in the latter, and Snider celebrated his first year in organized track with a third-place shot put finish and a ticket to regional.
"I'm blessed," stated a euphoric Tonner after a brief celebration with his friend and teammate Snider.
"I felt good today, no doubt about it. And I'm blessed by God, blessed with great teammates, great coaches and great friends."
Tonner opened the day by tossing the discus 159 feet, one and one-half inches, breaking the old AC mark held by Drew Cowan by nearly two feet. On his next to last toss in the shot put, as the sun was setting and the rest of the track competitors gathered around the edge of the track, Tonner let loose with his toss of 47 feet, five and one-half inches. It was his best heave ever.
No one got close. Norwell's Jordan Miller heaved the iron ball 45-1.5, and Snider, on his last toss, fired the shot 44 feet, to take third place by over a foot with his best toss ever.
"I've never been in track before, not even in middle school," admitted Snider.
"I wanted to do something other than go home and sleep (after school)," laughed Snider, who admitted that best friend Spencer Sharp had challenged him to join the team.
"I just had a good day," he admitted.
"Tonner deserves this. He's worked so hard," stated coach Michael Mosser.
The Jets had two other regional qualifiers as Shawn Reinhard went 20'7" for third place in the long jump, and Kyle Fawcett continued his strong season with a 4:42.38 for third place in the 1600 run.
The Jets finished sixth as a team with 45 points while Homestead won at 153 to the 120 of Wayne and 92.5 of Norwell.
South Adams had several qualify for regional and finished fifth as a team. Bellmont had no advancers coming close with a few fifth place finishes.
Willie Mahlan took fifth in the pole vault at 10'8", missing fourth by six inches. Evan Boucher went out strong in the 3200 and lead the first two laps, but finished fifth at 10:16. Eric Isch of South Adams was third with a 10:02 and advanced.
The Bellmont 1600 relay team took sixth with a 3:37.26. "We needed about another second and a half. We were that close," said coach Andy Heim. "It was definitely their best time of the season.
Mahlan, Eric Hirschy, Nathan Sheneman and Logan Nehrer competed for the Braves.
Tyler Korte was eighth for the Braves in the 200 finals. Derek Schultz took eighth in the discus. Zac Torrey took sixth in the 200 meter dash for the Braves. Braden Korte was sixth in the pole vault for BHS at 10-2.
Ben Meshberger tied for fifth in the high jump for the Starfires. Joel Schmidt took fifth in the 110 hurdles. Sam Amstutz was 7th in the 200 finals. The SA 1600 team finished fourth and the 400 team was fifth.
In the 3200 relay, the SA team of Isch, Tim Lehman, Logan Steiner and Isaac Werst ran third in 8:30.31 to make it to regional. Lehman made it out with a fourth in the 800 for the Stars. Evan Liechty added a sixth in the 3200.