The suspense was terrific.
If you like close races, you would have been delighted by the penultimate Kiwanis All-Comers Track Meet, which severely tested the acumen of the Bainbridge High School cross country runners responsible for recording finishing places Monday, Aug. 5.
The free community track meet, the next-to-the-last of the year, was again held on the track inside BHS Memorial Stadium. The final such meet of the summer will return at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12. Immediately following the first event, the jogger’s mile, there will be a short ceremony awarding certificates to the most consistent winners in each age group and trophies to the overall champion girl and boy, as well as first and second runners-up trophies and a trophy for the season’s best performance in the jogger’s mile.
Meet director Paul Benton, who has been doing some preliminary tallying, suggested there will be some close calls and maybe even (no surprise to regular racing fans) some ties.
Participants are encouraged to arrive by 6:15 p.m. to sign in. There is no cost, though parking is limited due to the loss of several spaces near the BHS 100 Building, which is cordoned off for construction.
However, at Monday’s meet, runaway victories were harder to find than open spots in the lot.
In the 100-meter dash for 6-year-old girls, four runners crossed the line in an apparent photo finish. The cross country team volunteers declared a four-way tie among Vivian Gray, Etta Henry, Ellajo Bell, and Evelyn McIver.
Even in this highly competitive age group, however, a determined and speedy Gray managed to take three other firsts, edging out Henry in the 60, Bell in the 200, and McIver in the second heat of hurdles, while Henry and Bell tied for first in the other heat.
Other girls races featured repeatedly close duels as well.
Emily Younker beat Ava Hammond (both age 8) in the 60 and 100, then tied her in the 60-meter hurdles before Hammond took first in the longer races, the 200 and 400.
That happened again in the age-10 category, as Kaela Cole lost the short sprints to her friend Josie Knapp, tied her in the hurdles, then won the 200 and 400.
Closer yet were 10-year-olds Alexa Douthart and Lillian Bell, who tied three times (60, hurdles, 200), though the usually dominant Douthart won the 100.
A few other girls were not so challenged.
Karina Dennon (age 12) and Eliza Poehner (age 8) each won four times.
Annie Caine (age 5) had four impressively decisive wins — finishing 4 seconds ahead in the 100, 7 seconds ahead in the 200.
But the meet’s outstanding girl, Benton said, was Elianna Rehder (age 7) who took four firsts with very fast times. Rehder’s 17.1 in the 100, for example, was exceeded only by 12-year-old Dennon’s 16.5.
On the boy’s side, Parker Clement (age 4) won all four of his races, while Hayden Deitz (age 7) and Spencer Caine (age 3) each won three, with Caine finishing the 200 12 seconds ahead.
But the boys had exciting duels, too.
For example Jasper Spalding and James Hunt (both age 4) crossed the line exactly together in the 100. Lucas James beat West Shurtleff (both age 5) in the 60 and 100, only to have Shurtleff come back to win the hurdles and 200. And when the 9-year-old boys ran the 60 they almost matched the 6-year-old girls, as Tucker Jones, Sam Drovdahl, and Hunter Douglas finished in a three-way tie for first.
Quinn Robinson, another 9-year old, easily won the next three races (100, hurdles, 200). Also coming late was his older brother Morgan Robinson (age 10) who also took first in those three races, in much faster times than Quinn.
But what if they raced each other?
So glad you asked!
In their heat of the 400, Morgan (1:25) just held off Quinn’s late charge (1:26), as 10-year-old Isaiah Drovdahl took third, just inches behind Quinn.
It was, Benton said, that kind of night.
Visit www.bainbridge review.com for more photos and complete results.