This past Friday, Heath Harris, son of NEO Trail club member Jim Harris, competed in the 1600 meter race at the Ohio Track & Field State Championship meet in Columbus at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Heath finished 5th overall and capped off a great high school career. Below is a recap of the day by Jim and a video provided by Flotrack.
It was warm and nothing but sunshine for the entire day. Probably low 80’s with just a slight breeze occasionally in the upper level of stands, but down near the track there was no breeze and it was warm. This track has a slightly different configuration and the straight sections are shorter than 100 meters long. Heath mentioned that the turns feel really long and look a little shallower also. Also a rail on the inside of lane one, which hardly anyone is used to and causes some problems for athletes during the 2 days of racing.
Only 12 made the start of this event with the others bowing out for the 3200 only. Heath was lined up outside in lane 8 and after 100 meters he was in last place by at least 2 meters to the pack. Last still at 200, but at least he has contact with the group now. Around 250 meters in he moved up to next to last. Through the first 400 in 64.52 seconds and at 500 meters he is back to last place.
On the back stretch he makes a big jump up in position passes over half the field to move into 5th place at the start of the far turn. After the turn at 700 meters in, Heath is back to 6th, and then at the half way mark he is in 7th. White comes around Heath on the front stretch and positions himself better approaching the line. Heath’s second 400 split is 66.76 seconds and that gives him an 800 split of 2:11.28, which is really fast.
Into the turn after the line and Joe White leads out with Eick right behind. Going into the far turn at 1000 meters in, Heath is in 6th. After the turn, he is in 5th and they are 3 wide coming out of the turn with Heath right behind the leaders at 500 meters to go. Heath moves closer down the front stretch and then near the half way point of the front stretch Heath moves out to make the group 4 wide and surges ahead. At the line Heath comes around the whole pack to take the lead starting the last lap. He looks good and gets a small gap back to the field.
Round the turn Heath is leading the race and then at 300 to go Eick and Hix come up on him and with 250 to go they blow by Heath and then White and Miller come around him as well. At 150 to go he is in 5th and holds that to the line for 5th overall in a time of 4:21.77, not quite a PR, but only a second off of his regional time. His third 400 was a 64.96 and then closed with a 65.10. Very even splits across all four laps.
Eick did what he needed to win and if you watch the race you will see him position himself in 2nd place the entire race until the end when he out-kicks Hix for the win. White ran well and was with Heath in the beginning and then moves up through the field and did what he could with 800 to go. Heath ran a great race and his move with 400 was his attempt to try and get away from the pack. Not sure if it was great strategy or not, but it was exciting to see him attempt that.
As far as the team scoring went, here is a quick recap. On Thursday Ben Moody took 4th in the long jump for 5 points. Then he won the 110 hurdles, and then backed that up with a win in the 100 dash as well. That effort gave Lakeview 25 points, then Heath got 4 more in the 1600 and the 4x100 team took third to get 6 points to give Lakeview 35 points going into the 3200 and the 4x400. Tyler would need to win or get second in the 3200 and Eastwood would have to be last or DQ in the 4x400 for a tie as the best that Lakeview could place as a team. Tyler ended up in 6th place for 3 more points and Lakeview finished in 2nd place as a team with 38 points and Eastwood won with 47. 69 teams scored at least 1 point at the state meet, and this is the first time ever that Lakeview earned a trophy for 2nd place. Lots of pictures and a trip to the podium for the Lakeview boys at that point. They knew they had a shot, and was happy to be where they ended up. Every individual from Lakeview that raced at the state meet made it to the podium. No disappointment and everyone was happy with their efforts on the day.
Looking forward to the summer and training for CC for Heath and also Kristen and Eric. I am itching to run some longer distances and after Heath’s open house I already have one ultra on the schedule and am looking to get some more on the calendar.
Video of Heath's Race