Fishers captures first boys track state title


The Fishers High School boys track and field team didn’t win the Hoosier Crossroads Conference, Hamilton County, sectional or regional meets.

Nonetheless, the Tigers put everything together to win the program’s first IHSAA state track and field championship June 1 in Bloomington with 60 points, just ahead of crosstown rival Hamilton Southeastern with 54 points.

The Tigers had finished fourth in the previous three state finals.

“Overall, it was a huge team win,” Fishers coach Nathan Warnecke said. “Everybody that stepped on the track, whether it be a relay or individual event, had one of those medals around their neck. That’s pretty exciting.”

The Tigers got 20 points from senior Tyler Tarter’s victories in the 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles.

Tarter, an Indiana University recruit, finished second in the 110 hurdles at the 2023 state meet. But he pulled a hamstring at the end of that meet and had to withdraw from the 300 hurdles.

Fishers got key second-place finishes from junior JonAnthony Hall, a football and basketball standout, in the long jump and senior Joel Gates, a University of Tennessee recruit, in the discus.

“Joel wasn’t even seeded to score points,” Warnecke said. “Our 4-by-800 relay finished second, so before we even got to Tyler, we had 24 points, so that was huge.”

The 400 relay team was seeded 12th and finished third.

“That was seven points we didn’t even expect,’ Warnecke said. “That was huge in what we accomplished.”

The 400 relay team included Hall, sophomore Carsen Eloms and seniors Joe Syrus and Tristan Capps.

Warnecke said the team got a boost by placing second to HSE in the Lafayette Regional.

“Everybody was on fire that day and had a great day,” Warnecke said. “That carried through to the state finals. We always seem to perform our best at the state meet, which is what you see from your athletes.”

Fishers senior Matthew Kim, who will compete for IU next season, placed fifth in the 800 meters and was on the second-place 3,200 relay with senior Makell Wiggins, junior Bryson Slagle and sophomore Declan Mohr.

Hamilton Southeastern’s 400 relay of Silas Newton, Christian Ortiz, Chandler Weston and Mason Alexander won in 41.79 seconds.

“I think our most unexpected result was winning the 400 relay,” Royals coach Garrett Lawton said. “We knew the boys could do it, but the field was pretty stacked. The weather really played into our hands on that one. We’ve been talking about adversity and practicing in inclement weather throughout the season, so we were confident that they would be able to handle it and they did.”

HSE senior Josiah Bird won the discus with a throw of 182 feet, 9 inches.

“Bird’s victory in the discus was incredible and we are so proud of him,” Lawton said. “We knew all season that he could do it. He’s been throwing mid to upper 190s at practice. It was just about putting it together in a meet. He got a slight break in the weather at state, let it fly, and that was enough. It was a PR for him by a couple of feet and 4 feet off the school record.”

“The key for us was consistency,” Royals coach Garrett Lawton said. “We had several events we knew we would do well in because those athletes had been performing well all season. But what really sealed it were some higher finishes in events that we thought were possible but weren’t sure about.”

One of those athletes was Connor Langsford in the pole vault.

“We knew he could (be on the) podium, but getting fourth was pretty incredible,” Lawton said. “Things like that add up and suddenly you’re looking at second place and maybe a chance to win the whole thing.”

In the May 31 girls state finals meet, Fishers senior Maya Taylor won the 100 meters in 12:11 seconds. The University of Louisville recruit became the first FHS girl to win an event at state. The Tigers placed 12th.

The Royals finished third in the girls state finals. Hamilton Southeastern finished third in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. Senior Maggie Powers was fourth in the 1,600 meters and Elizabeth Butler fourth in the 3,200.