Five Triad athletes earned medals and all-state honors at the Class 2A state track and field meet on Saturday, May 25 in Charleston.
Leading the way for the Knights was Jadon Elliott, who finished third in the pole vault with a height of 15-0.
“Jadon looked great over 14-6 and 15-0, clearing both on his first attempt,” Triad Coach Brian Weiss said. “He had a fantastic attempt at 15-3, nearly clearing it . His third-place finish is his highest in his three years of winning medals in Charleston. In 2017 he was fifth and in 2018 he was seventh.
“Jadon is our school record holder at 15-2 and changed the standard for Triad pole vaulting His smile and always positive attitude will be missed.
“Jadon’s coach, Eric Postma, has coached at Triad six years. In his short time here he’s coached two different vaulters to third-place medals, Clare Buck and Jadon Elliott. He has also coached 11 IHSA state qualifiers, five state medalists and six sectional champions. Most importantly, Coach Postma makes his athletes feel cared for and confident. He’s a great friend and a great coach.”
Finishing fourth for the Knights was the 4 x 100-meter relay team of Luke Foreman, Johnnie Caswell, Malik Curtis and Josh Edison. They finished their race in a time of 42.97.
“Luke got out strong but our first exchange was not as clean as in the prelims,” Weiss said. “Johnnie ran the race of his life and handed off in second against some very strong teams. Malik improved from his performance at sectionals and prelims to keep us in the top five mix. Sophomore Josh Edison finished strong down the homestretch as he has done the second half of the season.
“I think if you asked this quartet in January if they though they were going to be top four in the state in the 4×100, they wouldn’t have known. The way all of these young men have progressed this season is special. Johnnie and Malik won medals in their last race as a Triad Knight. I wouldn’t want them to go out any other way. It’s been a great four years with them and we will miss them dearly.
“This year’s team joins the rich tradition of All-State Triad High School 4×100 relays in the past 11 years. Luke, Johnnie, Malik, and Josh are the highest placing relay team in Triad history (boys or girls). I couldn’t be more proud of this group and I know that all of the returners next year are hungry to get back here and improve our placing. Thanks for a great ride, guys. It was exciting.”
Finishing just outside of the medals was the Triad 4 x 800-meter relay team of Ben Walter, Jack Hansen, Drake Bleier and Luke Perry. They finished 10th in a time of 8:19.26.
“Congratulations to this team winning two sectional championships in a row in the 4×8 and making it to the finals this year,” Weiss said. “Coach (Andy) Brendel has now coached two sectional champion 4×800 relays and four total state qualifying 4x800s. He’s had two make it to the finals. Congratulations, Coach Brendel..”
In the 3200-meter run, Jarod Willis finished 18th with a time of 10:36.18.
“Jarod got out in a very good position and came through the 1600 meters on PR pace, 4:59,” Weiss said. “As the second half of the race progressed it became difficult. It was outstanding that Jarod qualified in his junior year and will be one of our big leaders in the fall (cross country season). Congratulations on a great season, Jarod.”
“This was a great season for Triad High School,” Weiss continued. “We won our second straight sectional title, qualified in the most events to state in Triad history and placed 17th as a team. More importantly than that, we created bonds with one another that will last forever. We also realized how fun and how pure track and field competition and training can be. It truly is a team sport and I’m glad it was these guys on my team. Now, it’s time for summer. Time for seniors to prepare for the next chapter in their lives and time for the freshmen through juniors to prepare for their fall seasons approaching. We’re hungry for next spring. It’ll be in the back of our minds as we compete in fall and winter sports leading up to the 2020 track and field season.