The 10 meters after the final hurdle in the 300-meter hurdles race can be many things.
Excruciating. Joyous. Heartbreaking.
Sometimes, like Friday night at the City League track and field championships at Northwest, it is all three.
North’s Jaylen Dixon, the fastest hurdler in Class 6A, and Bishop Carroll’s Gerard Eck, well on his way to a personal-best performance, both landed at the same time over the final hurdle on Friday night.
They each took four strides to the finish line. They both stumbled near the finish line and they both ended up diving for the City League championship.
The photo finish showed Dixon just ahead of Eck in a time of 40.29 seconds to 40.32.
Pain. Joy. Heartbreak.
“You’ve got to know that the person next to you wants to beat you just as much as you want to beat them,” Dixon said. “You see what you really have in yourself when you push yourself that hard.”
Eck was faced with a dilemma of trying to feel satisfaction running the fastest race he ever has, but coming that close to winning a championship. Not to mention the scrapes that came along with the tumble.
“A finish like that one doesn’t come around very often,” Eck said, “so to be on the losing end of the finish is a little heartbreaking. There is so many ups and downs and emotions right now. I’m happy about the PR, but it’s heartbreaking to lose the race.”
Both competitors said that diving was never in their plans. But it became a necessity when neither could separate down the stretch. Eck actually clipped the final hurdle and that almost forced him to dive, whereas Dixon choose to do so in a last-ditch effort to win.
“That felt pretty great to know that dive actually helped out and I didn’t do it for no reason,” Dixon said afterward. “I didn’t want to dive, but I got to the end and my body couldn’t help me up anymore. I just did what I had to do.”
Southeast’s Alenten Wilson can relate to that feeling.
After breaking 11 seconds in the 100-meter dash, but finishing third behind West’s Javon Reed, the senior felt the pressure of doing whatever he had to do to defend his championship in the 200-meter dash against Reed.
Wilson found a way, running a great curve, then pulling away in the final 40 meters … and then just holding off a late burst from Reed at the finish line to win the race in 22.49 seconds – 0.01 faster than Reed.
“You’ve just got to dig deep,” Wilson said. “He beat me in the 100, so I was like I’m not going to let him take the 200 too. The last 10 meters I struggled, but you just got to find it somewhere inside of you.”
It was one of several victories for a trio of Southeast seniors that have their goals set on state championships. Every day in practice Wilson, Ira Hines, and Chris Gilliam push each other to become the best athletes they can be.
“Having them here with me actually makes it fun,” Gilliam said. “All of us are seniors, so this is our last time out here. We get one more year together to do something special, so we’ve got to finish it this year. These guys are both like family to me.”
Gilliam won his fourth straight race in the 800, taking the City League title in 2:02.67, while Hines swept both of the jumps – improving his personal-best in the long jump to 23 feet, 11 inches (second-best mark in Kansas) and winning the triple jump at 44-11/4.
The trio joined to run on Southeast’s 400 relay and 1600 relay teams, which both won league titles. The 400 relay won in 43.21, while the 1600 relay ran a season-best time of 3:29.67.
“I actually enjoy running on the relay more than I do in the open 400,” Hines said. “I like knowing that I have my team behind me and people are counting on me, and I just like being there for them and pushing myself to the limit.”
Girls Notes – East’s Kimani Evans won her third straight 100-meter dash championship. After winning at 12.67 as a sophomore, Evans showcased how far she has come by winning the race in 11.80. Evans also anchored East’s 400 relay team that won gold over Southeast by two-tenths of a second in 49.70...East senior Brittan Richey won her third straight league title in the high jump and even set a personal-best mark in the process, winning with a jump of 5-5...Southeast’s Breanna Eckels swept the long jump (18-8½) and the triple jump (38-6½) for the third time in her career at the City League meet. The senior also finished runner-up in the open 100 and anchored Southeast’s 400 relay team that finished runner-up to East in 49.90...Southeast’s Christal Mosley swept the 200 and 400 races for the second straight year, winning the 200 in 25.22 and the 400 in 59.99. She also helped the Southeast 1600 relay team to a gold medal with a winning time of 4:13.03...North’s Gabriela Reyna won her third straight 3200 race in 11:45.98, the fastest yet, and then her second overall league title in the 1600 in 5:29.17...Defending Class 6A champion Astrid East from East won her first City League title in the shot put with a throw of 41-7...A strong close by Carroll’s Grace Buessing (2:28.74) and Alyssa Cooke (2:30.26) was enough to displace the reigning champion in the event in Northwest’s Alyssa Frausto (2:31.06)...Southeast’s Sahona Ross ran a personal-best time of 15.52 to win the 100 hurdles.
Boys Notes – East senior Canien Burnett won his third straight league title in the high jump and matched his personal-best jump, clearing 6-8 on Friday. It is the third-best mark posted in Kansas this season...A strong finish over the final hurdle gave Carroll’s Joseph Holthusten another impressive head-to-head victory over a top title contender in Heights senior Creighton Sanders. Holthusen won the race in 14.60, while Sanders, the defending league champion, was at 14.67...Kapaun’s Matt Wilson was chasing a triple crown on Friday, but fell just short. He easily won the 2000 steeplechase (6:54.45) and 1600 (4:46.85), but was runner-up in the 3200 (10:13.81) to Bishop Carroll’s Paul Becker (10:03.13), who won his third straight league title in the race...West’s Javon Reed ran the fastest time (10.73) to win the league title in the 100 since Northwest’s Deron Thompson ran a 10.60 in 2013...Kapaun has now won the last three league titles in the pole vault, as Luke Wilson won in 2014, Brock Wells won in 2015, and now Sam Wilson carried on the tradition on Friday with a winning vault of 12-7...East’s Tyler Cargill won his first race of the season to win the league championship in the 400 in a time of 52.06.
Teams–Bishop Carroll 127, Southeast 122, East 102, Kapaun Mount Carmel 90, North 50, Northwest 43, South 27, Heights 16, West 10.
100–1. Kimani Evans, East, 11.80; 2. Breanna Eckels, Southeast, 12.13; 3. Arie Burl, East, 12.26.
200–1. Christal Mosley, Southeast, 25.22; 2. Naria Hall, South, 25.76; 3. Heidi Asmussen, Carroll, 26.30.
400–1. Christal Mosley, Southeast, 59.99; 2. Alexandria Hines, Southeast, 1:02.24; 3. Khyah Van Es, Northwest, 1:03.25.
800–1. Grace Buessing, Carroll, 2:28.74; 2. Alyssa Cooke, Carroll, 2:30.26; 3. Alyssa Frausto, Northwest, 2:31.06.
1600–1. Gabriela Reyna, North, 5:29.17; 2. Alyssa Frausto, Northwest, 5:40.77; 3. Kelsi Andrews, Kapaun, 5:41.83.
3200–1. Gabriela Reyna, North, 11:45.98; 2. Alexus Inscho, North, 12:09.32; 3. Kelsi Andrews, Kapaun, 12:19.76.
100 hurdles–1. Sahona Ross, Southeast, 15.52; 2. Teresa Engelbrecht, Carroll, 15.63; 3. Anna Mahoney, Kapaun, 15.76.
300 hurdles–1. Kindel Nordhus, Carroll, 48.03; 2. Teresa Engelbrecht, Carroll, 49.20; 3. Sahona Ross, Southeast, 49.63.
2000 steeplechase–1. Julia Howey, Carroll, 9:41.29; 2. Kayla Martin, West, 9:49.0; 3. Esmeralda Olguin, North, 10:22.96.
400 relay–1. East 49.70, 2. Southeast 49.90, 3. South 52.28.
1600 relay–1. Southeast 4:13.03; 2. Carroll 4:13.45; 3. Kapaun 4:26.47.
3200 relay–1. Carroll 10:39.88; 2. North 10:50.88; 3. East 10:54.84.
High jump–1. Brittan Richey, East, 5-5; 2. Dejanae Arnold, Northwest, 5-0; 3. Patricia Joseph, Southeast, 4-10.
Pole vault–1. Alyssa Wheeler, Kapaun, 10-7; 2. Tyra Clark, East, 10-1; 3. Patricia Joseph, Southeast, 9-7.
Long jump–1. Breanna Eckels, Southeast, 18-8½; 2. Kylee Mernagh, Carroll, 16-7; 3. Nicole Ukoefreso, East, 16-6.
Triple jump–1. Breanna Eckels, Southeast, 38-6½; 2. Lanecia Crosby, Southeast, 34-9¾; 3. Kaycia Crooks, Heights, 34-9¼.
Shot put–1. Astrid Same, East, 41-7; 2. Greta Lies, Kapaun, 35-9; 3. Alecia Verge, Southeast, 35-7.
Discus–1. Greta Lies, Kapaun, 112-2; 2. Felicia Papamie, South, 109-1; 3. Kylee Scherer, Carroll, 107-6.
Javelin–1. Sophie Frisch, Kapaun, 112-5; 2. Emma Walsh, East, 106-4; 3. Bree Wallace, East, 100-6.
Teams–Bishop Carroll 135, Kapaun Mount Carmel 115, Southeast 79, East 63, West 44, Northwest 44, Heights 42, North 41, South 26.
100–1. Javon Reed, West, 10.73; 2. Phillip Landrum, South, 10.91; 3. Alenten Wilson, Southeast, 10.99.
200–1. Alenten Wilson, Southeast, 22.49; 2. Javon Reed, West, 22.50; 3. Deonte Minnis, Northwest, 22.90.
400–1. Tyler Cargill, East, 52.06; 2. Tristan Guerra, Carroll, 52.41; 3. Joe Rohleder, Carroll, 52.49.
800–1. Chris Gilliam, Southeast, 2:02.67; 2. Michael McGreevy, Kapaun, 2:03.89; 3. Isai Ramirez, East, 2:05.23.
1600–1. Matt Wilson, Kapaun, 4:46.85; 2. Michael McGreevy, Kapaun, 4:47.99; 3. Gabe Vanucchi, East, 4:56.17.
3200–1. Paul Becker, Carroll, 10:03.13; 2. Matt Wilson, Kapaun, 10:13.81; 3. Matt Harding, Carroll, 10:20.23.
110 hurdles–1. Joseph Holthusen, Carroll, 14.60; 2. Creighton Sanders, Heights, 14.67; 3. Colter Hullings, Kapaun, 14.94.
300 hurdles–1. Jaylen Dixon, North, 40.29; 2. Gerard Eck, Carroll, 40.32; 3. Luke Powell, Carroll, 42.28.
2000 steeplechase–1. Matt Wilson, Kapaun, 6:54.45; 2. Jonathan Fonseca, West, 7:06.13; 3. Will Clayton, East, 7:10.95.
400 relay–1. Southeast 43.21, 2. Northwest 43.70, 3. West 44.08.
1600 relay–1. Southeast 3:29.67; 2. Carroll 3:31.26; 3. North 3:33.92.
3200 relay–1. Carroll 8:47.09, 2. North 8:50.46, 3. Kapaun 8:51.42.
High jump–1. Canien Burnett, East, 6-8; 2. Colter Hullings, Kapaun, 6-2; 3. Kyle Demel, Carroll, 6-2.
Pole vault–1. Sam Wilson, Kapaun, 12-7; 2. Gage Winter, Northwest, 12-1; 3. Jack Lynch, Southeast, 11-7.
Long jump–1. Ira Hines, Southeast, 23-11; 2. Cortez Harper, South, 22-3; 3. Javon Reed, West, 22-2½.
Triple jump–1. Ira Hines, Southeast, 44-1¼; 2. Isaac Smallwood, Heights, 44-6½; 3. Valgene Jones, North, 43-3¾.
Shot put–1. Geoffrey Tholstrup, Carroll, 44-9½; 2. Sam Nance, Carroll, 44-9½; 3. Sam Garrison, Carroll, 44-5.
Discus–1. Nick French, Northwest, 160-8; 2. Curtis Martin, South, 139-5; 3. Matthew Knoff, Kapaun, 139-2.
Javelin–1. Creighton Sanders, Heights, 164-11; 2. Nick Nece, Kapaun, 162-6; 3. Davis Bahner, Heights, 161-11.