At the front of Seymour high school’s cafeteria, between the podium on an elongated table, sat two sectional championship trophies — one for the girls, and the other for the Owls’ boys track and field program.
On Thursday, the teams met to celebrate a successful 2016 season.
Owls boys coach Randy Fife kicked off the banquet by reviewing the season and handing out varsity letters and junior varsity certificates.
“The kids bought into the track team,” Fife said. “Typically, at this time of year track is a third sport. I felt they were really track athletes. It was a fun group, and our motto was ‘have fun today.’
“You can win trophies and still not have success. Everyone measures success differently, and all of our guys wanted to get better.”
The Seymour boys had a winning record, which included titles at the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional and Seymour Invitational.
At the Hoosier Hills Conference meet, the Owls had three champions: Jacob Voss (3,200), Seth Ragon (high jump) and Cam Deppen (1,600).
A number of athletes advanced to the regional in 2016 for Seymour.
Deppen, who also advanced to the regional in the 1,600, received the most valuable runner award.
Even though he still hadn’t jumped at state yet, Ragon got the most outstanding field event award.
Between the boys and girls programs, the Owls recognized their seniors.
Since the track was under construction most of the season, the Owls didn’t have a true senior night.
“When a team is successful, you need to look no further than the seniors,” Fife said. “They’re not just good athletes, they’re good people.’
Owls girls coach Bob Sexton then took the podium to go over his team’s season.
The girls won the Jennings County sectional title by 1.5 points, and Sexton joked that he never wanted to be that close again for the championship.
It was the fifth straight sectional win for the Owls.
The 4×800 team of Oriana Morales, Abby Voss, Megan Winter and Emma Brock broke the school record at 9:57, while Mikaela Grout became the first Owl to clear 10 feet in the pole vault.
At the HHC meet, freshman Ashton Chase won both the 1,600 and 3,200. Chase also won both events at the sectional.
Sexton said that the team had seven more regional berths compared to 2015.
“Top” awards went to Avery DeHart (sprinter), Chase (distance), Megan Ritz (jumper), Morgan Ritz (thrower) and Brock (middle distance).
Most improved awards were handed to Jessica Blevins (sprinter), Alexis Gross (middle distance), Maya Hauersperger (distance) and Paige Kestler (thrower).
Winter received the 110 percent award, and Laura Koester took home the mental attitude award.
Grout was named the team’s most valuable track member.