He said the team was not assembled until the last day of April, but things clicked immediately. "Our first relay together was like a 3:30.3 and we were just over a half-second shy of state qualifying time (3:29.6), so at that point, we knew it was real, we knew what we could do." What the Green Dragons did was advance to states with a 3:29.29 at the district meet.
Eze, who will attend Cornell University in the fall, and possibly walk on the track team, said the team could not have had such success if any of his teammates were missing. Sumfest is a pole vaulter and shot putter who does a great job on the lead leg, he said.
"He always goes out and gives us a good spot," he said.
He said Scullin usually runs the 1,600, the 400 and a leg of the 3,200 relay during the season, so having him fresh was a plus, and Walker placed fourth in the 1,600 earlier in the day, but was fresh for the final relay.
The team overall saw all of its athletes get medals to which Eze said, "We knew it would take all of us to show up on the right day at the same time and it came together in the post-season. Our coaches are really smart (with training), they make us peak at the right time."
East Juniata junior hurdler David Brantley should be getting used to close calls, most of them not going his way.
He barely missed qualifying for the state meet in the 110 hurdles at the District 4 meet, but, after punching his state ticket in the 300 hurdles, he finished third in his preliminary heat at states, but missed qualifying for the final by six-hundredth of a second.
Another example of how Valley athletes are up against it in Class AAA in the state meet came Saturday morning when Milton's Zak Lewis, a sophomore who made it into the meet after another runner scratched, ran a 10:33.98 in the AAA 3,200 only to finish 32nd.
n Correspondent Todd Hummel contributed to this report.