TC’s Lewis takes 3,200 to highlight regional qualifiers

Tyler Lewis wasn’t sure about his finishing speed, but the desire to be a district champion far outweighed what it took to take down Fremont Ross’ Louis Guardiola.

Lewis unleashed an unknown gear, to speed away from the Little Giant junior in the final 70 meters, setting a new personal best time of 9:36.14.

“I didn’t think I could (outkick Guardiola) but I really wanted to win, I didn’t want to deal with second,” Lewis said.

He set a game plan and executed it just the way he intended.

“My first goal in the first lap was get out, set myself in a good spot for the beginning of the race; [Norwalk’s Quentin] Howell went out and pushed me, kept me going and kept the pace up and it just went from there,” Lewis said.

Lewis hit the halfway mark at 4:41, and dropped a 4:55 second half.

His teammate Brandon Gibson advanced to regionals in the 1,600 after overcoming a slow first 800 by the field to finish third (4:29.54). It was not something he expected.

“It went out slower than what I had originally planned it to be; I wanted it to be a whole heck of a lot faster for a PR today. but I’m happy with what I got,” Gibson said.

Gibson will race in arguably one of the toughest 1,600 fields in the state next weekend at the Division I Regional Track and Field Championships at Amherst. Last year, the final state qualifier ran 4:20.92 to advance, five seconds ahead of Gibson’s current PR. Still, Gibson sees deems it possible and is ready to compete.

“Next is obviously to make it to state and keep on PRing; hope for the best,” Gibson said.

Columbian’s 4×100 (44.78, 5th) and 4×200 (1:33.65, 7th) failed to advance and it looked as if the 4×400 would suffer the same fate when in the final 100 meters of the race, Lima Senior’s Jalen Glenn pulled dead even with TC’s anchor Kordell Hunt. Glenn who finished fourth the open 400 (50.61) had the credentials to overtake Hunt and send his team on to regionals. but Hunt dug deep and pulled away to give Columbian the final regional berth, finishing fourth (3:32.43). Josh Flint, Seth Young and Caleb Peacock joined him on the advancing relay.

For head coach Marcia Focht, now’s the time to start chopping off time.

“We’re going into it next week thinking we’re going to PR; we need to PR,” Focht said.

Her runners agreed.

“I feel like we got a couple more PRs in us,” Young said.

“I feel like I can get another second or two off my time,” Flint added.

For sophomore Hunt, it was about giving the seniors what they deserved.

“I’m excited to be going to regionals with these guys (Peacock and Young) for their senior year,” Hunt said.

In the end, they’ve all advance to Division I Regional Track and Field Championships at Amherst, so the journey is not over yet.

“Week 2,” Lewis said.