Prayer and speed lead to United 4×100 state title; Hiscox places fourth in hurdles

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There are plenty of euphemisms for a close race: a photo finish and dead heat being two of the more common monikers.

What about running neck and neck… and neck?

On the second day of the OHSAA Track and Field State Championship at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium, United Local’s boys 4x100m relay team emerged victorious from what had to be one of the most thrilling and closest three-way finishes in recent memory at any level of competition.

The United crew comprised of Kollyn Wells, Cayden Pitts, Mason Laibe, and Danny Milburn and the relays from Marion Local and Margaretta all crossed the finish line at 43.37 – at the same hundredth of a second.

While the participants and the crowd waited impatiently, officials had to resort to more exact methods that would measurethe relays down to the thousandth of a second.

What were the United athletes doing while waiting for the results to be posted?

“Praying,” said Milburn. “We gotta get first, you know?”

Apparently, those prayers were answered. And in the what may have seemed to be the longest thirty seconds in history, the scoreboards finally flashed the winner: United Local in first place at 43.362, while Marion Local and Margaretta clocked in at 43.366 and 43.368, respectively.

Crazy stuff that. What was just as crazy was the reaction from the Golden Eagle faithful as the winners were announced.

“It means the world really,” said Wells. “The atmosphere around this team at our school is crazy. It’s just, it’s insane.”

The fact that this contingent traveled more than three and one-half hours speaks volumes about the community and its devotion to United Local athletics.

“It means a lot to us, it really pushes us to do our best,” said Pitts. “We enjoy the support that they all bring.”

Equally as crazy as the support these athletes feed off of is the fact that there are no seniors on this relay team. That’s right, it’s comprised of two sophomores and two juniors. So, they get to return to defend their title.

“It means the world, you know,” said Laibe. “We all get to come back next year and just keep working at it to get better.”

And perhaps next year, they can work on not causing as many heart palpitations among their fans.

Speaking of United fans, they were also out in force to cheer on Brinsley Hiscox as she competed in the 100m hurdles, finishing fourth in a time of 15.28. 

The freshman is the first Golden Eagle to stand on the podium for a hurdle event since Sierra Parks finished fourth in the 300m hurdles in 2011.

Hiscox qualified for the finals on Thursday with a personal best time of 15.22, which had her seeded sixth. Moving forward, that time will be her measuring stick.

United Local freshman Brinsley Hiscox finished fourth in the Division III 100m hurdles.

“My goal is just to try to beat my PR,” she said. “I’m just going to keep trying to push myself more and I’m going to train. And I’m really looking forward to the next few years because I want to see where I’m going to be able to go.”

That could be scary because Hiscox was the only freshman to advance to the finals.

“My goal was to finish in the top five and I am very proud of myself for finishing fourth. I was honestly not expecting to come this far.”

Yet she did, and when you consider that running track forced Hiscox just a year ago to remaster an ability most of us take for granted – walking – it’s even more impressive.

“I don’t have any hip flexor muscles,” Hiscox said. “I couldn’t put any pressure on it without it just completely giving out on me. So, I had to go through physical therapy for about a month, and I had to completely relearn how to walk.”

From not walking to stepping on the podium for the 100m hurdles, this is one athlete who should never be counted out.