Coming into Saturday the 4A Boys 1000 looked to be the best race of the day with over 10 boys were could see as possible winners. The race went out at an honest pace and there were four boys in contention at the front of the field. Ian Delgado (Green Hope), Joel Shores (Southeast Guilford), Evan Harris (Lake Norman) and Christian Pigues (Rolesville). Going down the back stretch with less than 150 to go all four boys were right on each other and you see Ian Delgado take a hard fall and Harris stumbling attempting to maintain his balance.
NCHSAA 4A Boys 1000 Heat 3
Delgado is taller than most athletes and has a very long stride making him susceptible to getting tripped up. With four boys in an all out sprint battling for positioning on a short 50 meter straightaway it is very likely that there is going to be contact among them. When Delgado fell no flags were raised by officials and it's tough to see in our video what exactly went down due to the shot put nets, but it doesn't seem as if there was any foul-play among the athletes. Contact is something all distance runners have to deal with over the course of the race.
In Delgado's case he was leading and has no control over what is happening behind him.
were to win the race Green Hope would have went home with the team title, just
one point ahead of Panther Creek and he said that's what stings the most about
it. Delgado would have scored 10 points, but caused teammate Matthew Kehn to score 3 points instead of 4, giving Green Hope 9 addition points which would have been good for 2nd place to Panther Creek.
Delgado has this to say about the fall, "I was about to start my kick, which is probably my best attribute as a runner, and suddenly I felt something hit the back of my Achilles/ankle, then it basically all happened in slow motion. I was in front and so focused so I couldn't really see what happened but I felt something hit the back of my leg and before I know it I'm face-down on the track. I tried to keep my balance and I'm sort of surprised I couldn't, but I went down hard and while it happened in a blink of an eye on video and real life, it seemed like it happened in slow motion to me, it was crazy." Delgado did however get back up and finish the race, but he was too far back and took last place in the heat still in shock at what had just occurred. "After the race I was incredibly frustrated just because I knew I had it. However all the support from my teammates, coaches, and even competitors like Evan Harris, Christian Pigues, James Lundergan, and Kyle Fawzi calmed me down and just made me look at the whole situation in a whole other perspective which was that this should motivate me to start trying and training more and at least I have next year to get it back."
Harris is known for having strong closing speed and was ready for a battle with the four boys down the homestretch. "I had a great chance winning the title," Harris states, "but you can't change the past. Ian and I just have to move on from it." Despite his own dream crushed of missing out on a state title Harris was quick to console Delgado after the race. "I was trying to calm Ian down because I could see how frustrated he was. I also told him what happened. Also, I told him that he a great runner and I wish the best of luck during outdoor track."
Pigues ended up unleashing a strong last 100 meters and very well could have been the race winner despite the carnage on the backstretch. He won the race in a new 1000 PR of 2:30.44. But he knows that a competitive last 50 meters would have been an exciting finish.
Pigues after winning his first NCHSAA State Title
Joel Shores took second place running 2:31.75 in what has been a massive break out season for him. Shores came into the indoor season hold a 2:49.40 PR and has cut off nearly 18 seconds! Shores older brother, Ariel, was a stud in high school and ran 4:17 to take 2nd in the 4A 1600 in 2013. While is seemed like Joel might not be able to run at the ability of his older brother he stayed motivated and silenced any doubters. He now has a PR in the 1000 5 seconds faster than his brother and I'm certain he will be eyeing all of his brothers previous PRs on the outdoor track this season.
Shores after ending a break out indoor season with a 2nd place finish at states