ONA - Simply put, Cabell Midland boys track coach Chris Parsons saw the 1600 as the feature race of the day. Top runners from across the state ready to battle on a cool, windy Saturday afternoon in the Carlos Akers & Doc Hale Memorial at Cabell Midland's Chris Parsons Track.
Cabell Midland's Jeremiah Parlock and University's Seth Edwards gave the crowd a stirring performance with Parlock leading wire to wire and winning in 4:24.48. Edwards tried, but failed to catch Parlock and took second in 4:25.38. Cabell Midland's Will Sheils was third (4:26.86).
"I was really excited," Parlock said about the buildup to the race and the actual four laps. "We talked about it a lot. I felt really good the first lap. Thought I'd better slow down a bit. I don't usually lead from the front. The excitement. I felt it and went with it."
Edwards kept trying to catch Parlock, but Parlock held him and Sheils off time and again. Parsons got the crowd on the home side of the stadium worked up a bit as he did commentary on the final lap.
"I could hear their footsteps, their breathing," Parlock said. "That last stretch I gave it my all. I could hear the noise. It just got me pumped up more than I already was."
Sheils, who would come back to win the 800, and other key efforts and depth helped Cabell Midland win the boys title with 104 points. Woodrow Wilson was second with 75.5.
On the girls side, Cabell Midland prevailed with 114 points. Winfield was second with 90.
Edwards enjoyed the race and the moment as well.
"It's great. I've always felt the state needs more races like this. We have the Gazettes (Gazette Relays). To go from indoor to outdoor and still be able to reach this high level, race against some of the state's best, I feel OK. The mile (1600) is usually my weakest event. I'd like to have faster. I ran the way I thought I could win. I knew I had the extra gear the last lap, I didn't plan on Parlock having that strong a finish. He's a really tough miler."
After a short break, Sheils came back to win the 800 in 1:59.30. He passed University's Geandre Jones midway through the race and charged to victory. Jones, a transfer from Capital, was second (2:02.62) and Parlock third (2:03.59). What surprised Sheils is Jones ran the entire race in lane 2, never cutting over to the inside when allowed.
"I've never seen that before. I don't know if he's fitter doing it that way," Sheils said. "I tried to run as even as possible. I knew if I was under one (minute), I'd be OK. It's just the training. We do a lot of practice having a guy out there to hang on to. If we can do it in practice we can use someone else in the meet. You saw the same thing in the mile (1600). Those guys had more in the tank than I did. I was able to regain my mental strength. The 800 is a stronger race for me."
Daniel Jarrell came through for the Knights with a win in the 400 (51.01). Jones was second in 52.76.
"The issue for me is stay healthy," said the senior, who's battled pulled groins and pulled hamstrings. "I'm a senior. I've got to do it now."
Cabell Midland is now 2-0 in meets this young season. The Knights won the Kim Nutter Classic on March 24 in Parkersburg.
In sprints, Hurricane's James McDougale won the 100 (11.23) and 200 (22.50). University's Alex Minor won the 3200 (9:43). Huntington High's Dezmon Bradshaw won the 110 hurdles. Cabell Midland got relay wins in the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800.
"It's another stepping stone to the state," Parsons said. "When you bring the best together, you see a lot of potential. We've got to get better each week."
On the girls side, Cabell Midland's one win came in the 4x400, the final race of the day. The Knights resorted to their depth to prevail in their first meet.
"We're all back (from last year) and we have a good influx of freshmen," Cabell Midland coach Don Rogers said. "There are indications of potential. You don't know until that first meet. We answered a few questions."
Source: The Herald Dispatch