Lacher, Schuman save best for last at state track meet

BLOOMINGTON — Sam Lacher saved his best for last. So did Hunter Schuman.
Isn’t that the idea?
When you finally run your best race, or make your best throw, there’s no place better to do it than the IHSAA boys state track finals.
Bremen’s Lacher broke the 49-second barrier in the 400-meter dash for the first time in his life. As a result, he claimed state runnerup honors Saturday at the Indiana University track in Bloomington.
And Schuman came within a whisker of hitting the 60-foot mark during Saturday’s shot put competition. His 59-11 ¾ heave, a personal best by over a foot, earned a second-place finish as well.
Neither result was completely unexpected, but after coming so close to a title, each athlete had mixed emotions afterwards.
What would you expect?
Locked in a down-to-the-wire battle with Thomas Capers of South Bend Riley and Stoney Prowell of Indianapolis Marshall, Lacher leaned across the finish of the 400-meter dash in 48.48 seconds. Prowell, however, got there eight-100ths of a second quicker.
“I could feel it was right there,” said Lacher, a junior. “I told myself, ‘I’ve got more in me. I’ve got more.’ And then I went for it.”
Capers, who beat Lacher at the South Bend St. Joseph regional, finished third.
That regional memory helped motivate Lacher in practice last week.
“I went hard almost every day, coach (Mark Yoder) only gave me two days off,” said Lacher.
“I was (seeded) fifth and I was just hoping to beat my own record,” he added. “Finally, I got under 49 today. Praise God.”
Schuman was lucky to even make the state meet following a sub-par regional effort. But he made up for it in a hurry, hitting his monster put in the second round.
Cheered on by a band of hometown fans wearing shirts that said, ‘2nd Shot at State,’ Schuman found himself in the lead for a while. He then settled in behind the 60 foot, 6 inch effort of Angelo Allen.
“Everything felt right when I threw it. There was a lot of power behind it,” said Schuman of the near 60-foot effort.
When the field judge read the distance, Schuman celebrated, then cringed.
“Oh man, a quarter inch away from 60 feet,” said Schuman. “That hurt.”
Try as he might, Schuman could find an additional 6-1/2 inches that would have enabled him to pass Allen for the championship.
“Almost first, but that’s allright,” said Schuman. “Of course, I wanted to win, but to finish second with my best throw ever, I’ll take it.”
One other Glenn athlete competed, but fell short of a trip to the awards stand. Luke Runyan finished 19th out of 27 finishers, clocking 4:25.58.
Gary West claimed its first boys team title since 1980, holding off Carmel in a fight to the finish, 41-39.
Gary West was assisted by Carmel dropping a baton in its final race of the evening.
Penn was the top team from this area, scoring 15 points to place 13th in the final standings. Glenn and Bremen tied for 31st.