They ran the first 200 meters in under 22 seconds. He wasn't expecting that.
The fast early pace caught Sean Sutton off guard, but he remained patient. He usually kicks with 50-60 meters to go, but he found himself boxed out behind two others. On the final turn, he had to swing to the outside and give it everything he had.
He said that when he crossed the line, he knew he had won. For the spectators in the fieldhouse and the fans watching around the world on the internet, it was not so clear. The results flashed up on the screen to show Sutton in first in 47.91, Najee Glass in second in 47.92, and Champ Page in third in 47.93.
It was those two other opponents that Sutton had his eyes on all year. He had encountered fellow Maryland athlete Champ Page in one or two meets throughout the season, but never raced him head to head. He was connected to Glass through a future teammate at UNC, who is friends with Glass but wanted Sutton to win.
47.91 wasn't the time that he was looking for. Earlier this season he clocked a personal best 47.63 (on an oversized track), and in the prelims he only ran 48.50 (winning his heat by a large margin). That this was not a time trial was evident by all of the shuffling throughout the race. This race truly came down to pure guts. Coach Crutchfield thought Sutton could run at least a second faster if he ran smarter and didn't get boxed out.
Following the 400m victory, his legs were heavy and he opted out of the 200-meter finals. He acknowledged that he wasn't in shape to turn around and race the best in the nation shortly after a hard 400 (he had also run the 4x400 earlier in the day in addition to yesterday's trials).
In yesterday's Mocorunning Day 2 recap, it was hinted that Sutton lost his spikes because his bag was stolen. He went outside to warm up and left his bag unattended. When he returned his bag was gone. He also lost his entire uniform and his wallet. He got new spikes and had to wear a teammate's uniform. He never got his wallet back.
Olivia Ekpone finished the day with two more All-American honors. She finished fourth in the 60-meter dash in 7.52 and third in the 200 in an indoor personal best 24.24. The 200 was particularly impressive because she won heat #1 of the finals from lane three. Running in lane three puts the athlete at a distinct disadvantage against those in lanes four, five, and six. Only two girls in the second heat of the finals ran faster, and they did so from outside lanes.
Russell Hornsby entered the meet using his outdoor personal best time of 1:53.31 as his 800m seed time which should have gotten him into the fastest heat. He was disappointed to learn that he was seeded in one of the slowest heats. Technically, Hornsby had not run an open 800 all season, but common sense would suggest that his times of 1:05 and 2:32 in the 500m and 1000m suggested that he was reasonably fit. Disappointed as he was, he made the best of the situation. He ran with the pack for 200 meters in about 29 seconds and then took off. He destroyed his heat with a new personal best time of 1:52.62. The time held up for fourth place overall, allowing him a trip to the All-American podium.
Thomas Tallerico also won one of the "slower" heats in a personal best time of 1:53.97.
Neither Good Counsel nor Richard Montgomery were thrilled with their times in the 4x400. GC clocked 3:27.55 and RM clocked a season best 3:26.01. Meanwhile, Good Counsel's rival, DeMatha, put on a show, winning the event in US #4 all-time 3:15.23.
Thea LaFond earned her second All-American honors of the weekend when she placed third in the triple jump with a mark of 39-11.25.