Delayed victory for Linn’s Rush
Races to title in spite of incorrect lap counter
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Linn senior Tyler Rush was on his way to his first career state track title.
Or at least that’s what he thought.
But he quickly realized the lap counter was wrong, and he still had one more lap to go.
“I knew something was wrong because I came across and I came around at my last lap at 8:15, there’s no way,” Rush said. “They told me there was one more and I made a final-lap push.”
Not even the wrong lap counter could slow down Rush as he raced to the Class 2 title in the 3,200-meter run during Saturday’s Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 1 and 2 Track and Field Championships at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.
His time of 9:30.82 was nearly 14 seconds better than West Platte’s Spencer Hudson. It also shattered his personal record by 12 seconds.
Rush, who had the best qualifying time at sectionals, said it helped him running with other runners who were just as fast as him.
“I’m used to running out front all by myself, doing all the work,” Rush said. “Today I knew there were two other kids who have (personal records) at 9:42. I also I knew if I just stuck with them that first mile, that first six or seven laps, I felt like I could break those last couple of laps.”
He came close to winning the title in the 1,600-meter run Friday, finishing second to Ryan Beaver of College Heights Christian.
He left no doubt Saturday.
The win puts a finishing touch on quite the running career for Rush. He won the Class 1 cross country title in November. He will continue his running career next year at Missouri Southern University.
“It’s definitely awesome having the cross country state championship title, that was great,” Rush said. “But to just add another one, my first state track title, it’s just amazing.”
Being a cross country runner, it comes as no surprise he likes the longer races a little better.
“It gives me more time to focus on my laps,” Rush said. “I can settle into a faster pace instead of all-out sprint.”
Rush’s performance helped Linn to a ninth-place finish as he had a hand in all 20 of his team’s points. The 4X800-meter relay team of Rush, Kyle Dudenhoeffer, Greg Spillman and Josh Gibson took seventh Saturday.
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