Effingham coach Terry Harbaugh said every Effingham time recorded Monday night was a personal record at the Apollo Conference championship meet.
And despite that, Effingham came up just short, falling by two points to Mt. Zion for the conference crown.
Mt. Zion totaled 129 points, Effingham had 127 and Charleston finished in third with 123 in an incredibly close meet.
“Every kid ran their hearts out, all the times that we did tonight are personal records,” Harbaugh said. “I can’t look at any... we have so many Apollo Conference winners. It’s a great team effort.”
Effingham picked up four individual conference champions and took home two relay titles in the second-place finish.
The first-place finishes started with Kohdai Nishida, who had a long jump of 21 feet, three inches, besting every other non-Effingham competitor by two feet.
However, in the process, Nishida hurt his leg, preventing him from qualifying in the 100-meter dash, an event he normally finishes in the top five in. Nishida tried in the preliminaries, but stopped halfway through.
Harbaugh was quick to point out the second-place finish didn’t happen because of the injury or any other reason, reiterating how pleased he was with the effort.
“You don’t point the finger,” he said. “I’m really happy with everybody. That’s the best we got and the best we did.”
Thomas Lasher took second in the long jump, and grabbed a triple jump win with a distance of 41-03.5.
Kyle Niebrugge also took home a conference title in the high jump, clearing the bar at 06-02 for the win.
But one of the best performances of the day was by Collin Hecht, who won the 300-meter hurdles in 41.82 as a freshman. It could be the start of big things for the freshman.
“Hecht’s only a freshman. He could feasibly, depending on the sectional, if he runs in the 40s he could probably qualify for state,” Harbaugh said.
Effingham also won the 4x100-meter relay (43.79) and the 4x200 (1:32.93), while taking second in the 4x400 and the 4x800.
There were a number of other quality performances by the Hearts, Harbaugh said.
“Levi Michael had a great meet, he threw 10 feet farther than he’s ever thrown before,” he said. “Sean Zerrusen got a third place in the 400, he ran his fastest time.
The Flaming Hearts will look to keep the momentum up as they push toward state Wednesday at the Charleston Big Trojan Invitational.
1. Mt. Zion 129, 2. Effingham 127, 3. Charleston 123, 4. Salem 101, 5. Mattoon 74, 6. Paris 0
Long jump - 1. Nishida (E) 21-03, 2. Lasher (E) 19-08
Pole vault - 1. Jourdan (S) 15-00, 3. Williamson (E) 13-00, 6. Vasquez (E) 10-06
High jump - 1. Niebrugge (E) 06-02, 5. Williamson (E) 05-08
Shot put - 1. Hahn (S) 50-07.5, 4. Boggs (E) 42-08
3200-meter run - 1. Brown (MZ) 9:16.43
110 hurdles - 1. Smith (M) 15.23
100-meter dash - 1. Ray (MZ) 11.11, 4. Vaughn (E) 11.57
800-meter run - 1. Garrett (C) 2:00.97, 5. Fatheree (E) 2:05.71
Discus - 1. Jean (M) 163-11.5, 4. Michael (E) 139-05, 6. Boggs (E) 123-09
400-meter dash - 1. Cohn (C) 52.58, 3. Zerrusen (E) 53.40, 6. Durbin (E) 55.54
300 hurdles - 1. Hecht (E) 41.82, 6. Unkraut (E) 45.82
Triple jump - 1. Lasher (E) 41-03.5, 6. Williamson (E) 37-07.5
1600-meter run - 1. McInerney (C) 4:17.38, 4. Fatheree (E) 4:39.20
200-meter dash - 1. Ray (MZ) 23:15, 3. L. Howell (E) 24.22
4x400 - 1. Charleston 3:31.21, 2. Effingham 3:32.76
4x800 - 1. Charleston 8:22.14, 2. Effingham 8:27.1
4x100 - 1. Effingham 43.79
4x200 - 1. Effingham 1:32.93