by Beau Wicker
Logansport junior Alex Calisto was nearly in the identical spot he was in exactly one year ago.
But this time, he didn’t have to settle for second place.
Calisto sprinted down the stretch to win the 800-meter run by over two seconds Thursday at the Kokomo boys track sectional.
Last year Calisto was edged by Eastern’s Joshua Sommers for the sectional title. This year Calisto won with a time of 1:58.67. Sommers was second in 2:00.85, over a second faster than his winning time a year ago.
“It was a nice race. The guy last year, he had me scared because last year was the exact same way around but he outkicked me at the end,” Calisto said. “This year was different. All the hard work paid off. I’m pretty excited.”
Calisto set the school record in the event. He also owns the school record in the 400 after running a 50.04 at the county meet last month.
“He’s just an awesome kid,” Logansport coach Randy Kuhn said. “You know what, we knew he could win that. We haven’t tapped his potential yet.”
Calisto needs a top three finish at next week’s Kokomo Regional to qualify for the state finals.
“I really hope so, but there are guys from Warsaw that run 1:54, 1:55, 1:56, so it’ll be tough,” he said.
Pioneer senior Matt Dorris entered as the No. 1 seed in the 400 dash but was edged by Maconaquah’s K.J. Walton at the finish. Walton won with in 50.78 seconds, and Dorris was second in 51.02.
“I ran a pretty good race, but hat’s off to K.J. Walton, he’s really good,” Dorris said.
Dorris said he tied his personal-best time. His biggest goal of the season is to reach the state finals in the event.
“He ran a sub 50 in his split in the 4x4, so he can do it,” Pioneer coach Bob Brock said. “He’s going to be there, I guarantee you. He concentrates on track and he’s going to be down in 47, 48. ... The University of Indianapolis has offered him a scholarship, so if he decides to go there, they’ll work him very hard and I think he’ll reach his maximum potential.”
Dorris anchored Pioneer’s 4x400 relay team that ran a 3:31.93 to finish runner-up to Maconaquah (3:28.87). Tyler Hanna, Dylan Bice and J.P. Smith also ran in the event for the Panthers.
“I think we just got the school record, so it’s great,” Dorris said. “I’m proud of my team. Everyone ran great.”
The Berries’ Moritz Boldt, Braxton Berkshire, Zach Ellington and Calisto finished fourth in the event in 3:32.66. The top four finishers in each event advanced to next Thursday’s Kokomo Regional.
“That 4x4 team with Calisto anchoring it and Ellington in that third spot, we’ve always got a chance,” Kuhn said. “We’ve got four amazing hard-working kids in there, and they just come through when they need to come through.”
Lewis Cass’ Cody Campbell finished runner-up in the discus (151-1) to advance. Logan’s Alex Emmerd was third (142-1).
Cass’ Drew Shepherd placed third in the high jump (6-0) to advance. Teammate Payton Young placed fourth in the 400 (52.18).
Pioneer’s Dylan Bice placed third in the 1600 (4:37.21). Braxton Ayers finished tied for third in the pole vault (11-6). Josh Lytle was fourth in the shot put (45-6 3/4).
Logansport’s 4x800 relay team of Ezequiel Alvarez, Luis Gonzalez, Orlando Toloza and Logan Sharp placed fourth in 8:39.7 to advance.