Zach Phillips sets 800-meter run record 5.20.09

Written by David Green.

Morenci senior Zach Phillips knew time was running short if he were to break another school track record.zach.phillips.record.jpg

He set a new standard last year in the 1600-meter run, clipping the school’s oldest record that was still hanging on from 1965.

This year he wanted to add the 800-meter run to his scrapbook, but the opportunities were running out.

The regional, league and county meets still lay ahead, but there was always something that got in his way: the 1600-meter race comes before the 800.

“I knew I couldn’t break it after I already ran a mile,” Phillips said.

Last week at Britton-Deerfield, he passed the 1600-meter race off to teammate Logan Drummond and set his sights on the 800.

There was one more obstacle. The Britton-Deerfield squad didn’t have anyone entered in the race to give Phillips a push.

He turned to teammate Chas Frey who got him halfway there.

“Chas ran with me for a lap and then he walked off the track,” Phillips said.

The strategy worked. Together they turned in a 56-second lap, then Phillips completed the race with a 63-second final lap to finish at 1:59.93.

“Not many people would give up a first place in the 200-meter dash to help a teammate break a recored,” Phillips said about Frey. “Chas did it without hesitation.”

Since Phillips’ time was recorded by a hand-held watch, Morenci coach Brad Brown explained that the time would have to be rounded up, leaving the official time at 2:00.0—and leaving Phillips a little disappointed that he would have to settle for a tie.

Coach Brown assured him that it was no tie. The record holder, Jeff Taylor, ran a 2:00.7, a time that was confirmed in an Observer article.

When Taylor—now a teacher and coach at Delta (Ohio) High School—broke the record in 1986, he topped Morenci’s oldest existing record. Ron Towne established the mark of 2:00:9 in 1964 and kept it for 22 years.

Taylor held on to his record for 23 years before Phillips ended the reign.

Phillips now joins Matt Masters and Larry Place as the only male athletes to possess two individual records for Morenci.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016