Armen Koltookian’s leap of faith helps Concord relay team reach state

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:56 PM EDT
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ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Concord High School’s 4x400-meter relay team is heading to the boys track state meet at Indiana University in Bloomington on Friday.

How they made it there was certainly unorthodox.

“I didn’t really expect myself to actually do it, but then it kind of just happened,” said Armen Koltookian.

With 50 meters to go in the regional championships at Warsaw last week, Koltookian — who was running the anchor leg — was shoulder to shoulder with Penn’s Kellen Watson for third place when he dove headfirst across the finish line.

“As much as I wish I say we could, we have not necessarily utilized practice time on that particular strategy,” said Concord head coach CJ Shafer.

“(Kellen) came over, congratulated me. It was a good feeling. He told me he thought I got him, but we weren’t going to know until the camera shot came out,” Koltookian said.

The photo was one to hang in a museum, with Koltookian claiming the third-place spot by just 0.05 seconds.


“Not enough good things to say about my teammates - all seasons, but my track team surrounded me, congratulated me. It was a good feeling,” Koltookian said.

The relay team of Juan Ross, Dae Sean Emerson, Darian Decker and Koltookian — as well as Jaron Thomas in the 100-meter dash — were sent off to the state championships on Thursday afternoon.

Before the sendoff, I had to challenge Armen to a little tune up race — 100 meters down the track. Safe to say, he’s ready to go (see for yourself in the video above).

“Coach has got me prepared,” Koltookian said. “Gonna trust the process, and like coach says, let the coach do the thinking and I’m going to go out there and try to run my best race.”

The 4x400-meter relay team’s race is scheduled to end the meet on Friday at approximately 8:30 p.m.

“It’s their last probably official thing they’re going to do for Concord High School,” said CJ Shafer. “Just go out and do the best that you can and try to do something you haven’t done before. And it’s going to fall where it falls, and we’ll see how much fun we can have.”

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