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TRACK: Relay fills BNL’s need for speed

BNLs Garrett Flinn takes the baton from Evan Baker during the 400 relay. The Stars won that event en route to a victory over Mitchell.

BNL’s Garrett Flinn takes the baton from Alex Adams during the 400 relay. The Stars won that event en route to a victory over Mitchell.

BNL boys win 1600 relay

to cap triumph while Stars

roll to victory in girls meet

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Somebody had the math wrong. Bedford North Lawrence went to the 1600 relay, the final event of the annual county meet with Mitchell, believing it needed to win the last race to conquer the Bluejackets. Turns out the Stars were comfortably in front.

But that sense of urgency brought out the best in BNL’s best foursome.

BNL-Mitchell results

In the most dramatic and thrilling race of the day, the Stars roared from behind in the anchor leg, with Micah Wagner capping a huge scoring meet with a tremendous effort on the final stretch to the finish line, to win the showcase race and cap a 72.5-58.5 win over the Bluejackets on Tuesday afternoon.

Sarah Brewster splashes into the sand while winning the long jump with a leap of 15-2.

Sarah Brewster splashes into the sand while winning the long jump with a leap of 15-2.

The girls meet lacked intrigue as the Stars swept the field events en route to an 86-46 triumph.

That last race, which seems to bring out the best in tired runners, had a thrill on every turn. Garrett Flinn, Alex Adams, Isaac Kuehn and Wagner traded the lead with the Bluejackets on successive laps. When Wagner took the baton for the final circuit, he was behind, and he trailed by three strides around the third turn.

Micah Wagner won the 100 and 200 meter races for the Stars.

Micah Wagner won the 100 and 200 meter races for the Stars.

Yet after already competing in three events, Wagner had a final gear, one he wasn’t even aware existed. He charged past Mitchell’s Austin Parkes at the top of the backstretch and pulled away while posting the fastest split time of the season. BNL clocked a sizzling 3:27.82.

“I knew that kid was fast, so I decided to match him and conserve what I could until the last bit,” Wagner said. “I gave it all I had. I was hoping it was good enough. It was actually the first time I’ve been pushed. I did surprise myself.”

“I’m excited for my kids,” BNL coach Scott Hiles said. “The Mitchell team ran an excellent race. You can’t control what everyone else does. You can have an excellent day, and they might be better. But that was a great effort. We had two kids that ran faster legs than they have all year, and it was certainly the time to do it.”

Halle Hughes leans over the bar. Hughes won the high jump by clearing 5-0.

Halle Hughes leans over the bar. Hughes won the high jump by clearing 5-0.

Adams was the other relay team member to break through a personal barrier. His second lap wiped out Mitchell’s early surge.

“You could see it back there,” Hiles said. “He said ‘I can catch this kid.’ That’s the kind of attitude you can’t manufacture. They weren’t thinking about anything except ‘Where is the front? I have to get there. I have to hand the baton off to my partner in a good position.’”

That same quartet also won the 400 relay in 44.43. Wagner had earlier won the 100 meter dash in 11.56, and he later took the 200 in 22.93.

BNL had other dual winners. Justin Sims was the victor in the 110 high hurdles (16.41) and the 300 lows (44.67), while Trey Pemberton took the distance events (4:57.07 in the 1600 and 10:56.85 in the 3200). Flinn was also the winner in the long jump (19-8).

Carrie Flinn leads the way toward the finish line in the 1600.

Carrie Flinn leads the way toward the finish line in the 1600.

In the girls meet, Megan Lambrecht led the way in the field events, taking the shot put (34-3) and discus (112-4). The Stars also were dominant in the long jump (Sarah Brewster sailed 15-2) and high jump (Halle Hughes cleared 5-0).

“The field events obviously helped us out,” BNL coach Jo Scott said. “We’re really strong in those right now.”

BNL didn’t score all its points inside the track. The Stars also won their share on it. Carrie Flinn set the pace in the 1600 (5:56.38), Caitlyn Watson won the 400 (1:08.00), Baili Peterson crossed the line first in the 800 (2:46.30), and Zoe Zollman cruised to the blue ribbon in the 3200 (13:22.50).

“We had a lot of PRs,” Scott said. “We’re still down runners and filling in people where we can. Everybody is coming together and doing what we need to do.”

Mitchell’s Bethany Hudson was a double winner in the 100 (13.53) and 200 (27.91).

The meet also included the first-ever Unified meet in BNL history, with competition in the shot put, long jump, 100, 400 and 400 relay.