Tasty Race Tuesday: The 2019 State 4A 4x800

"It's the pins baby!"

Aidan Fitzgerald let the words ring out between celebrator screams.

Indeed, the red and white pinstriped shorts held some mystical aura to them, in the same way the fans of the New York Yankees glorify those pinstripes.

What was it that Frank Abagnale Sr. said?

"You know why the Yankees always win, Frank?"

("Because they have Mickey Mantle?")

"No, it's because no one can keep their eyes off those pinstripes."

Durango's 4x8 squad didn't have a Mickey Mantle, but they have a Aidan Fitzgerald, owner of 1:53.45 800 personal best, and closing speed of around 51.23 in the 400.

So yeah, I think it equates.

For this week's edition of Tasty Race Tuesday we've got something better than chocolate ice cream with marshmallows sprinkled in. Better than Oreos with milk. Better than a bag of Hariboro gummy bears straight out of the refrigerator. The pinstripes transcend the possibility of equalizing any meal on the menu this week. 

And what we've got on tap this week, is the 2019 boy's 4A 4x800 state championships...

Back to the track...

A little over eight minutes before Fitzgerald's celebrator scream, Durango's pinstriped quartet of Luke TichiMarcus FlintNoah Bodewes, and Fitzgerald huddled in the grass before the race.

Not only were they eyeing a coveted state title, but they knew a state record was in reach - as long as everyone did their part. 

And they did. 

Cheyenne Mountain and Niwot were the early leaders through the opening leg, but Durango kept it all within reach.

Following strong legs from Bodewes and Flint, Tichi stretched the Pinstripe Boys lead to hand the baton off to Fitzgerald with all eyes on the clock.

Though he wasn't entirely alone. 

The stellar squad from Air Academy were bound to make this a race - and they did.

From several seconds back Cal Banta tracked Fitzgerald through the opening quarter, even closing a bit, but it wouldn't be enough. 

(A day later Fitzgerald and Banta would battle down the final stretch of the 800. Three-hundredths of a second would separate them, with Fitzgerald running 1:53.45 to Banta's 1:53.48.)

Fitzgerald was burning up precious track with that classic loose stride, keeping a state record run within reach. 

When he hit the final straight with nothing more than 100 meters of track beneath him and a state record on the line, he knew he would be close. 

He continued to pour on the pace as the crowd eyed him, then the clock, then him, then the clock, then him, then the clock, in a vicious cycle that only he could end.

Eyeing the clock into the final strides he contemplated diving for the line in dramatic fashion but opted out on this day (he would save the dive for two days later in the 4x4.)

A nearly-vertical lean stopped the clock for Durango's pinstriped quartet.


Boom. State Record.

It even sounds fast when you let the time roll off your tongue. 

In another perspective, that's four runners averaging 1:57. 

Durango claimed the state title, and the state record. Not to far behind them Air Academy put down a great run of their own, finishing second in 7:52.