By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Trailing by 10 points to Garden City with two events to go, the Liberal Redskin track team started a rally that will go down as one of the best finishes in school history.
The Redskins trailed by a single point heading in to the 4x800 meter relay after Isaac Gallegos and Lavondrick Martin took first and fourth in the 200 meter dash, and it was a gutty anchor performance by sophomore Gallegos that erased a 40-meter gap to Garden City to earn the gold and win the track meet for Liberal, the first on the new surface and facility.
Gallegos trailed by 10 meters down the front straightaway, but even after winning the 200 meter dash just one event earlier, Gallegos still found the will to push for one more gold, his fourth of the day.
“I had to do it, not for me but the team,” Gallegos said.
Adebayo Braimah started the relay and gave the Redskins a lead. Lavondrick Martin stretched the advantage for Liberal before handing off to Morgan Riggs.
But Liberal’s third leg, Morgan Riggs, was battling the flu and had already run in the mile, two mile and 800. Garden City was able to reel Riggs in and take a lead.
That’s when Gallegos took over.
He made up little in the first 200 meters, but it was the final curve and the home straightaway where Gallegos outpaced Garden City for the win.
“I knew if I beat Garden, we win the meet,” Gallegos said. “I had a good day. I came out to place high and do my best.”
Gallegos was joined by a number of up-and-coming Redskin athletes that put together just enough to win the inaugural meet on the new track.
Liberal claimed eight gold medals at the 18-event meet to earn the win.
“That was an exciting finish,” first year head track coach Wade Standley said. “That’s why you play the games. I can’t say enough of how proud I am of these guys. Abedayo had a strong run, Morgan Riggs had already run the 800, mile and two mile, and he gutted it out. Lavondrick had a stellar meet. It was a good start, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Liberal Boys Individual results:
110 meter hurdles: 2. Braimah
100 meter dash: 1. Martin
200 meter dash: 1. Gallegos; 4. Martin
1600 meter run: 2. Riggs
4X100 meter relay: 1. Liberal
400 meter dash: 1. Gallegos
300 meter hurdles: 1. Braimah
3200 meter run: 1. Riggs; 5. Grajeda
4X400 meter relay: 1. Liberal
High jump: 3. West
Discus: 2. Powdrill; 4. Dinh; 5. Berens
Triple jump: 5. West
Shot put: 3. McPhail
Pole vault: 1. Dinh