Thus far, March has been a lot of rough weather and very little nice. Until today. It was a glorious day for track and field.
If you had to pick a highlight, you'd probably scan the list of results up and down and then notice that your eyes stopped the same place both ways. There were a lot of good marks, but that boys 800 kind of gets your attention.
William Merrick has run some nice 800 times already this year, including a 1:54.07 at adidas Indoor Nationals, but evidently there's still some room on the top side. In case anyone had any doubts about that topside room, Merrick also won the 400 in the afternoon in 49.82.
If you were wondering, Blake Yount still holds the state record for an in-state mark in the CHSAA-sanctioned season at 1:50.59. I have a hunch Merrick might be hunting that mark come May and June. Let's hope he's healthy enough to give it a spin when that time comes.
Three other guys under two minutes gives you some indication of how good the field was for this race.
As far other highlights, there were plenty.
Maren Busath held off a considerable crowd to win the girls 800 in 2:20.
Emma Stutzman inexplicably slowed down on the second lap of the 3200 only to find her legs again and run away with an 11:36 win. There's plenty more where that came from.
Cooper Needham raised some eyebrows with a winning time of 57.16 in the 400 hurdles. Holy cow, it's nice to see someone besides USATF running 400 hurdles in this state. When you see Brian Runyon next, tell him, "Thank you for that hurdle show!"
You might have been hoping for a Gavin Schurr sweep of the 100 and 200, but he only showed up for the 100, winning that in 10.50 (-0.6). Keirryse Simpson won the 200 in 22.03 (-2.0). The wind wasn't very helpful today, and not just for the sprints.
Giavonna Meeks continued her dominance of all things iron, winning the hammer at 168-3, the shot put at 40-6, and the discus at 142-11. That's a very good day with heavy implements, but we've come to expect that of her.
And, Brandon Hills was very nearly midseason form in the long jump, checking out of the pit at 21-8.5. They weren't using a wind gauge for the horizontal jumps, but the pit is fairly well sheltered at Heritage High School, so the wind reading on that jump would likely have been negligible. We weren't as close to midseason marks on the girls side, but Mia Munoz had a nice 16-3 effort for the win.