WARSAW – It’s a safe bet to assume that the Warsaw boys track team will be ready to defend its home turf Friday night.
The Tigers look to repeat as champions in the annual Max Truex Invitational at the Tiger Athletic Complex.
Warsaw, ranked No. 8 in the latest statewide poll, is sure to be motivated with rival Penn among the teams in the field.
“We’ll be ready to go on Friday,” said Warsaw coach Matt Thacker Monday night after watching his team easily defeat Northridge 90-42 at home. “It’s our home invite and I know our guys are looking forward to it. All of us are.”
The Tigers and the Kingsmen have developed quite the nice little rivalry the past couple of years.
Penn defeated the Tigers 67-65 last season in head-to-head competition. Warsaw then outscored the Kingsmen 124-115.5 to win the Max Truex title before Penn edged the Tigers 83-82 to claim the championship of the Kokomo Regional. Their last meeting came last Saturday at the windy and cold Goshen Relays where Penn edged Warsaw 84-83 to win the Class A team title for the first time.
The Tigers, who are scheduled to host Concord and Plymouth tonight in Northern Lakes Conference action, had their dual meet at Penn earlier this season cancelled due to the weather.
Warsaw is led by its outstanding distance group, led by seniors Jake Poyner and Robert Murphy. The Tigers also count on sprinter Wyatt Jones, along with Ryan Goon, Chad Goon, Nathan Kolbe, Chad Furnivall and Taylor Cone on the track.
Coach Thacker’s squad, which is 3-0 on the season, was without standouts Ellis Coon and Stephen Kolbe on Monday night. Coon, a distance standout, has been sidelined for the past two weeks due to a foot injury and his status for Friday night is still unknown. Kolbe, who won the high jump title at the Goshen Relays last weekend, was out due to an illness Monday.
Penn is led by the likes of Tim Deal in the hurdles and long jump, Tommy Grant in the sprints, Isaiah Cook in the shot put and discus and Conner Sowders in the 400. Sowders was held out of the Goshen Relays due to a slight injury last weekend.
The Max Truex field features Warsaw, Penn, Fort Wayne Wayne, Fort Wayne North Side, LaPorte, Hobart, Mishawaka Marian and South Bend Career Academy.
Fairfield, which just won its fifth straight Class B championship at the Goshen Relays, had to pull out of the invite this year due to having to make up conference meets due to postponements forced by the awful spring weather.
The action Friday night at the TAC begins with field events at 6 p.m. The 3,200 relay is scheduled for a 6:30 start, followed by the 110 hurdles (7:00), 100 (7:15), 1,600 (7:25), 400 relay (7:35), 400 (7:50), 300 hurdles (8:00), 800 (8:15), 200 (8:30), 3,200 (8:40) and 1,600 relay (9:00).
Admission is $5 per person.