By Rob Kiser
COLUMBUS — Mother Nature didn’t cooperate.
But, she couldn’t stop Andy Mayse at the Division I state track and field meet Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium.
The Piqua junior placed seventh in the 1,600 with a school record 4:14.77, before finishing 14th in the 800 in 1:59.13.
Just minutes before Mayse was supposed to run the 1,600, a storm entered the area, resulting in a 90-minute delay.
“That (the delay) kind of threw a monkey wrench into things,” Mayse said. “I had already warmed up, so that kind of messed things up.”
But, Mayse was ready to go when the race finally ran.
“Everybody had to go through the same thing,” Mayse said. “I knew I was going to have to go out fast.”
Which is exactly what he did.
Mayse ran in the top five for the first three laps.
“If you start falling back, you are done,” he said. “You can get boxed in and then you can’t do anything. It was kind of crazy. We were sprinting on the straightaway and jogging the curves. So, it was fast, slow, fast, slow. It was really tough.”
In the end, Mayse was able to hold on to seventh place and became the first Indian to make a trip to the podium since Brandon Saine in 2006.
“I thought I was eighth, but I ended up seventh,” Mayse said. “I can’t say there was no one behind me, but I didn’t here anyone.”
His school record time was nine seconds faster than Mayse ran at regional — which he said is a little deceiving.
“I know I was the 16th seed coming in here,” Mayse said. “But, the regional was more about place, than time. The way I look at it is it was three seconds lower than my PR.”
Unfortunately, the delay took the meet off the usual time schedule, and Mayse had less than 30 minutes between races, which was a big factor in his time and finish in the 800, which was four seconds slower than his regional time.
“It would have been nice to have the delay after the 1,600,” Mayse said. “But, you have to take what you are given. I was the only one running both races, but you can’t expect them to change things for one guy.”
And what he did in the 1,600 already has Mayse excited about next season.
“Definitely,” he said. “Maybe I can get to state in cross country. And if I ran 4:15 this year in the 1,600 after running 4:27 as sophomore, may be I can come back and run a 4:05 or something like that next year.”
After all, even Mother Nature couldn’t keep Mayse from a school record and trip to the podium Saturday night.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.