Saline swept the relays to win its sixth straight regional boys’ track and field championship Friday at Saline High School.
The Hornets finished with 107.5 points. Woodhaven was second with 66 points and Pioneer was third with 66 points.
Austin Welch came from behind on the straightaway to win the 800 and Josiah Davis won the 300 hurdles. But the Hornets did the most damage with their relays.
Anthony DeKraker, John Giles, Brian Blankenship and Austin Welch won the 4-by-800 in 7:59.57 to win their relay by more than eight seconds. Blankenship, Welch, Harrison Koch and David Alberdi won the 4-by-400 in 3:22.8. Alberdi anchored the 4-by-200 and 4-by-100 teams to victories. He was joined by Konrad Dixon, Mitchell Carter and Koch on the 4-by-200 relay that finished in 1:28.67. On the 4-by-100 relay he was joined by Hibbard, Koch and Jeb Palka that finished in 43.04.
Saline coach Al Leslie said he was proud of his team.
“We had a lot of kids, particularly the seniors, really step up. We had such and incredible wealth of talent last year. But this team probably has more depth. And like last year’s team, these guys are willing to sacrifice for the team,” Leslie said.
One of those sacrifices, he said, was from Alberdi.
“His big event is the 400 and we told him we needed him in the relays. He gave up that event and helped three relay teams win today. And he ran great,” Leslie said.
“I was seeded kind of high in the 400 but we needed points elsewhere so I took one for the team, jumped on the 4-by-1. We ended up winning today so overall, I think it was worth it,” Alberdi said. “We nearly broke that record. And I still had enough energy to anchor the 4-by-4. So it was definitely a good day and I’m happy with the results.”
Alberdi said all four of Saline’s relay teams should make the podium at the state meet in two weeks.
Alberdi also finished second in the 200. His time of 22.18 was a career best.
One of the highlights of the day was Welch’s win the 800. Bedford’s Brendan McLanahan, who won the Golden Triangle, had the lead with about 50 yards to go. Welch caught him and then edged him by .02 seconds to win. Welch’s time was 1:55.52. Welch set a new career best. The Hornets picked up 23 points in the 800. Blankenship was fourth in 1:58.19. Giles was fifth in 1:58.55. Spencer Leslie finished seventh in 1:59.43 and Eric Wu was eighth in 2:00.12.
Saline’s other victory came in the 300 hurdles where Josiah Davis won in 39.48. Davis won the event by .58 seconds.
Kyle Nouhan was Saline’s best in the field. He finished second, clearing 13-06. Eric Harris was sixth, clearing 12-06.
Anthony DeKraker was third in the 3200. He finished in 9:33.96.
Brandon Brown finished fourth in the shot put, throwing 44-06. Ben Drake was ninth with 41-08. In the discus Alex Lampman was 10th with a throw of 117-03.
Preston Filla (5-08) was tied for fifth in high jump. Bendedict Watson was 10th Iong jump (19-08.5).
Aidan Carichner (7th, 4:32.13) and Derek Liemohn (10th, 4:42.21) had top 10 finishes in the 1600.
Harrison Koch was eighth in the 400 (52.54).