Most is best in 100 hurdles
Valerie Most accomplished something that hasn’t happened to a Brady athlete in over 10 years.Most stood on the medal platform at the state track meet Saturday as a gold medal event champion in Class D. She led Brady performances at state with a first place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.
The last event champions for Brady came when Lane Fattig won the triple jump and Wade Penry took gold in the 1600, both in 2002, according to Eagle coach Rich Britten. Erin (Clark) Fairley) was the last girl to win a gold medal when she claimed the top prize in the high jump in 2001.
Going into the meet, Britten thought Most might have a chance to win if things fell right. They didn’t in the preliminaries as Most clipped the first and final hurdle and placed second.
“That was part of the nerves of competing there for the first time in the hurdles,” Britten said.
She had a clean run in the finals posting the winning time of 15.93 seconds.
For Most, the hurdles final began a busy 90 minutes for the Eagle junior. During that time she also competed in the high jump on one end of the track, participated in the pole vault at the other end and received her gold medal in a ceremony in the middle of the infield.
“She was very busy down there,” Britten said. “She was going back and forth from one place to the other.
“She was kind of on another cloud. She jumped really well and she actually pole vaulted well.”
Most placed third in the high jump with a personal best effort of 5-3, one inch short of the winning height. Her best vault of 9-0 was just short of matching a personal best.
Brady’s girls placed in a tie for 15th in the team scoring with 16 points. O’Neill St. Mary was the team champion with 56 points.
Autumn Hild, who had been battling recent leg problems, was doing well in her 400-meter dash preliminary race before tightening up on the last straightaway, Britten said. She did not qualify for the final.
Shaylin McClellen’s best distance in the long jump was 15-5, which did not earn advancement to the finals.
Josie Palmer successfully cleared 5-0 in the high jump but did not place. She was having a little bit of trouble and her back was bothering her a bit, the coach said.
All four girls joined together for the 400 relay, but their time of 52.54 seconds did not place.
“It was a better time than we ran all year,” Britten said. “They ran well and improved their time and so we’re happy with that.
Boys place 15th, too
The Brady boys also tied for 15th place, scoring 14 points.
The Eagles missed an opportunity to break a school record in their first competition at state, but the 1600 foursome accomplished that feat in the final event of the meet.
The 3200 relay composed of Bryley Roper, Troy Lusk, Cole Viter and Zach Mann placed sixth with a time of 8:17.22. That was about a second slower than their district time.
“We’ve been chasing the school record and we were hoping we could peel off about another four seconds from the district time to break the school record that’s been here since 1980,” Britten said.
Roper ran a strong anchor leg coming in at 2:01, but earlier runners just didn’t get him close enough at the start of the leg, the coach said.
Brady’s highest medal came in the 1600 relay. Eric Martin, Lusk, Mann and Roper set a new school record of 3:32.97 while placing third.
“We broke our record that we broke at district,” Britten said. “The school record before was 3:35 that we were one-tenth off last year at state. We’ve been chasing that all year and at district we broke that by two-tenths. We broke that by almost two seconds at state.”
Roper was hoping for a personal best in the 400-meter dash, but didn’t quite get there with his fourth place showing at 51.9 seconds.
He also competed in the long jump but didn’t place after his best jump of 19-6.
Eric Martin hit a couple of hurdles in his 300 intermediate preliminary race and did not qualify for the finals.
Matt Litzenberger went 44-8 in the shot and did not qualify for the finals.
“It was his first trip down there so he was a little nervous,” Britten said. “I was pleased that he made it.” The Brady junior will look for better results next year.
“We were very pleased with the season,” the coach said. “With the girls, we got about what we thought we could out of the numbers there. We did very well. Most all of the girls are coming back and we should add a few more bodies next year.
“We’ve got some good young boys, but we’re going to have a tough time replacing seniors who have done well the last two years.”