By Ryan Butler

Exceeding many of its own expectations, the Newsome High School varsity track team finished second in the 2013 Class 4A District 7 meet. Finishing just five points behind first-place North Port, the Wolves secured individual titles in five events and positioned themselves for a big run at the Regional meet.

“It surprised me, I didn’t think we were even that close when the final score came out,” said boys’ head coach, Brian Sears. “North Port was so strong, and (our team) was impressive. If you would have seeded the meet beforehand, I probably would have had us third but the kids stepped up.”

Running in his final district meet, senior Lars Benner proved once again that he was among the best runners in the district if not the entire state. Benner easily won both the mile and two-mile races, blowing away the respective fields with times of 4:32 and 9:40. Teammate Justin Martinez finished second in the mile.

Benner and Martinez were also part of the team’s second-place finish in the 4×800 relay, a unit that also included Todd Jackson and Maurice Bolduc. Individually, Martinez added a third-place finish in the 800.

“(Martinez) was a workhorse for us,” Sears said.

The Wolves’ 4×100 relay also racked up key points for the school, finishing third. Newsome capped off the relay events with an exciting win in the 4×400, the meet’s final event. Kyle Smith, Shane Daymond, Brenden Clough and Jackson combined to win the thrilling race by less than a second over Riverview.

“The 4×400 team really stepped up like no one I’d seen all season,” Sears said.  Jackson also won the 400 as an individual, recording a blistering run just over 49 seconds in a race where Smith finished third. Junior Bryan Ahren recorded the Wolves other first-place finish with his top mark in the high jump.

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