BLOOMINGTON — The Class 1A state boys track meet was a bittersweet event for Warrensburg-Latham coach Scott Godfrey.
Godfrey, who also served as the Cardinals' football coach, accepted a position with Bloomington High School as its new football coach in February, making the state track meet his final event as a Cardinals coach.
His team finished fifth behind first-place finishes in the high jump and the 4x100 relay, making Godfrey the Herald & Review's Macon County Boys Track Coach of the Year.
"State was kind of the last thing on the way out. It was bittersweet. It was a great way to finish my career there," Godfrey said. "A lot of high notes, a couple state champions. I got to celebrate with a group of guys that have been with me my whole time there and so it was a great way to finish. There are a lot of people that I really I miss there and a lot of them are the kids I was coaching that day."
The Cardinals' 4x100 relay state title was a case of everything finally coming together in the right place at the right time. It was also a crowning achievement for Warrensburg-Latham's Lewis twins, Dionte and Diondre, who were seniors on their last trip to state.
"For one reason or another we always had something, be it an injury, we were disqualified last year in the 4x100. There was always something that kind of derailed what we did and we were really close this year," Godfrey said. "Dionte's hamstring was hurt. After the 4x100, he didn’t run in the 4x400 so it was kind of like luck was on our side to have those two healthy coupled with two other great runners (Jarius Ingram and Addison Hortin) and the sky's the limit with those guys."
The 4x100 team was a relatively new creation that didn't see action until the postseason was approaching.
"That group of four guys really worked hard on their exchanges and came together," Godfrey said. "We lost one of our 4x100 runners when they didn’t come out for track this year, and so we weren’t sure if we were going to have that team. We thought we would just run the 4x200 instead."
But from the time Godfrey inserted Hortin into the 4x100 lineup, Warrensburg clearly had a state combination.
"(Hortin) did an awesome job," Godfrey said. "From the time we ran it, we had state qualifying times, so we decided about midway through we were going to run it."
Godfrey said junior Jordan Tedford', who jumped a personal-best 6-8 at state to win the high jump, was a testament to hard work.
"That was determination at its finest," Godfrey said. "He has grown well over a foot in the high jump since he started high school. He works really hard at what he does, and works really hard in the weight room.
"I know all year long he never beat (Meridian's) Cameron Getz and he had to go against him 10 times this year with us being in the same conference. We just told him to keep working and his time would come, and what a time for it to come. The day of the state final he was dialed in."
Godfrey instilled an importance of overall team performance at meets this season and it paid off. The Cardinals captured a first place conference meet finish for the first time in 18 years.
"I think it was awesome that we won the (CIC) conference track meet — that spans back to the Okaw Valley Conference," Godfrey said.
Along with the CIC meet, the Cardinals took home championships at the Macon County and Piatt-Macon County Championships.
"We won the big three invitationals around here and our goal was to always win the meet first and do well individually second," Godfrey said. "I know that is different for most track people. Our kids were really awesome about that and bringing the team aspect in."