Chasing 2008, Chargers are NLC champs

The+Chargers+Boys+Track+Team+after+winning+the+NLC+Championship+on+Wednesday%2C+May+8.+
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Chasing 2008, Chargers are NLC champs

The Chargers Boys Track Team after winning the NLC Championship on Wednesday, May 8.

The Chargers Boys Track Team after winning the NLC Championship on Wednesday, May 8.

Photo courtesy of Adam Homo

The Chargers Boys Track Team after winning the NLC Championship on Wednesday, May 8.

Photo courtesy of Adam Homo

Photo courtesy of Adam Homo

The Chargers Boys Track Team after winning the NLC Championship on Wednesday, May 8.

Damien Funnell, Staff Writer

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The boys track program in the past was known for being the best sport in the building. In recent history, however, the achievements of the boys team were surpassed by the success of the wrestlers, but this years boys track team had an opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in years–winning the NLC Conference.

With a perfect regular season, the boys team has managed tough wins throughout the year. One of the first wins being against city rival Elkhart Central. Momentum from the city rival win lead to good performances in conference competition against Northwood and the 2018 NLC champion, Concord. Going into Concord was not an easy task for the Chargers, but they did manage to pull through and win with the closest score of the season, 67-65.

The rest of the season from there was all about focus and finishing. The rest of the teams in the NLC are no push over. If the Chargers didn’t show up, they could’ve easily lost to any of the remaining teams. But they stayed focused and did what they had to do.

“I tell them on the bus ride before every meet,” long jump coach Dominik Holt said, “we’re strictly here for business.”

Keeping the team poised and focused to always be better pushed our Chargers to give all they had no matter who the competition might have been.

After dominating the regular season, the Chargers went into the NLC Conference meet with huge targets on their backs. Head Coach Adam Homo approached his team the day before the meet and said, “These teams will not lay down for you. You’re going to have to get after them because they would want nothing more than to take you guys out.”

The following day, the boys team did just that. Outstanding performances by the relay teams helped lead the Chargers to their big win in the NLC Conference meet Tuesday, May 7.

The night started with a tone setting performance by the 4×800 meter relay team made up of junior Juan Cepero, junior Neil Terrell, senior Josh Ekema, and senior Hazael Morales. who finished with a time of 8:15.96.

Shortly before the next relay win, it is worth noting that high jumper, senior Javon Forrester, won the Chargers first place with his own personal best jump of the season: a jump of 6’ 6.

“My teammates were really into it and it kept me going,” Forrester said. “Knowing your team has your back is one of the best feelings.”

Those performances gave the team the confidence they needed to finish the meet and win the whole thing. With a team made up of junior Ivan Soeun, sophomore Derrick Woods, junior Damien Funnell, and senior Curtis Peals, the 4×100 meter relay won first with a season best time of 43.31.

“We had a great week of practice before this,” Soeun said. “We got our hand-offs down and were able to get our time down where we need it to be.”

Finally, the Chargers finished their night out strong with a dominate 4×400 meter relay win with a team made up of Morales, Ekema, Terrell, and junior Lashawn Whitener.

They finished with a 3:30.04 on the big night which was enough to put their name in stone as the 2018-2019 undefeated NLC Champions.