By DAVID GREEN
It’s not over ‘til it’s over, and for Morenci’s two state champions, it certainly wasn’t over until the end.
Bovee, Morenci’s junior hurdler, had the race tied by her second to the last hurdle of the 300-meter race and was in control at the final hurdle to claim her victory.
For Sandusky, the freshman sprinter, it wasn’t until he lunged with his head at the finish line to win his 400-meter dash race, but even that wasn’t the end. He found out later that his time tied a runner from the first heat and the two shared the prize.
For Morenci coach Brad Brown, it was the first state title since 2003 when Ryan McDowell took the 300-meter hurdle championship. And with Bovee’s accomplishment, it marked the first time a female title was won since Brown started coaching here.
“Brooke was considerably behind the first-place girl going into the home stretch,” Brown said. He figures she was at least 10 meters behind with 100 yet to run.
She slowly pulled away from another competitor and with two hurdles yet to go, she pulled even with the leader. At that point, Brown was sure he had a winner.
“She had a look on her face that I hadn’t seen before,” he said. “I really thought she was going to get the job done.”
The win was a little unexpected because Brown thought Bovee had her best shot in the 100-meter hurdle race earlier in the day. Her 100 time was right there at her best for the season, but she still came in third.
She knew she ran a good race, Brown said, and that helped her prepare mentally for the next one.
“She went into the 300s with a better perspective,” he said. “I think that mindset helped her win it.”
At the start of the season, Coach Brown was worried about Bovee’s chances in the 300-meter race because she lacked conditioning after choosing not to play basketball. Hard work brought her back into shape at the right time.
Coach Brown can’t recall ever hearing of a tie between two runners in different heats, with the time the same to three decimal points, but that’s what happened to Austin Sandusky.
Brown wasn’t even sure if the freshman won his own heat when he saw him cross the line. Less than a quarter of a second covered the first three runners.
His winning time through the fully automated system was :50.917.
Sandusky got a break when another runner scratched out of the race. This moved him from lane six to lane two where he could keep an eye on the competition.
“It’s definitely a benefit to watch the others,” Brown said, “but I think he ran it pretty much as he normally does.”
“Normal” might be an odd word to use since Sandusky is still fairly new to the 400-meter event and practice time was limited since he was a starter on the baseball team.
Sandusky began the day with 100-meter dash runs. He placed fourth in his first run to advance to the semifinals, then took a third to move on to the finals.
He placed fourth overall at :11.40, edging out familiar foes from Addison and Summerfield.
“That’s what it takes at the state meet,” Brown said about Sandusky’s preliminary races. “You need to run your best in each one.”
Nine year had passed since Morenci had a state champion.
“To get two on one day is something special,” Brown said.
PLESS—Sophomore Tatyana Pless got off to too fast of a start in the 1600-meter race.
“She got caught up in the adrenaline of the race and she paid for it by the third lap,” Coach Brown said.
She finished the race at 5:46—not her best of the season—but got the experience of running in the state meet, Brown said, and now has the incentive to return and improve.
GLECKER—Morenci nearly had two medal-winners in the 300-meter hurdlers. Freshman Madi Glecker placed third in her heat, but the two ahead of her were top-eight medal-winners.
Her time of :50.1 was good for ninth place, just 0.3 second away from all-state status.
Two Div. IV records were set Saturday. Jacob Patrick of Litchfield threw the discus 190 feet and Adam Abbott of Detroit Cristo Rey long jumped 22-3.75.