WINCHESTER Diving across a goal line is one thing and diving across a finish line is another.
Eric Bloom, junior distance runner for Eudora High, did that two weeks ago at the Cardinal Relays. Very deservedly so, he finished first in the 800.
"I had just passed a guy and heard footsteps behind me," Bloom said. "At the very end I decided I've got to do it and dove and was three-hundredths of a second ahead. That night I was sitting in my bathtub and my brother was picking pieces of track out of my back."
However, this didn't startle Eudora track coach Dave Durkin too much.
"He's a competitor and doesn't like to lose," Durkin said. "He's just like that on the basketball court, except he's got a better head on his shoulders in track."
Bloom won the 800 -- without diving -- at the Jefferson North Relays on Tuesday with a 2:07.46 clocking.
As a sophomore, Bloom ran on Eudora's two-mile relay team that placed fifth, but he failed to qualify in any individual events.
"I definitely want to make it to state by myself," Bloom said. "I love it and had a great experience there. It was a thrill to get there, and I want to get there again."
Bloom, who is a straight-A student, finished fourth in state cross country last fall and medaled his sophomore year. The experience helped him finish third in the two-mile Tuesday despite not running the event at all last year.
"I didn't even know what a good time was," Bloom said of his 10:46 clocking. "The only thing I had to compare it to was cross country. I was pretty happy. But there wasn't any competition for third and the weather didn't help, either."
Freshman Jessa Stein runs with Bloom every day, but not by choice. Stein is the only girl who runs distance events for the Cardinals.
"It's tough in a way because there's no one else to run with at meets," Stein said. "But it's good to work out with the guys. You don't want the guys to beat you."
Stein medaled in cross country this year at state, which prepared her for high school track.
"It helped me out a lot and prepared me for the strategies and the level of competition," Stein said.
"She's doing really well," Durkin said. "She works really hard every day in practice. She had good experience with good competition in cross country and that's carried over."
The Cardinals have only two senior girls and one senior on the boys team.