Wichita LHS junior Chris Williams fended off Shawnee Mission Northwest's John Sumner to capture his second-straight Class 6A title in the 3200-meter run at the state track and field championships.
Lawrence High junior Chris Williams was picture perfect Saturday.
Williams successfully defended his state title in the 3200-meter run in a photo finish over Shawnee Mission Northwest's John Sumner during the Class 6A state track and field championships at Cessna Stadium.
"It always seems like at state I always have a close finish like that," said Williams, who also is the reigning two-time state champion in cross country. "Cross country this past year was real close. My sophomore year, (Olathe East's) Issac Allen and I sprinted off to the end.
"But it was not even close to as close as this was."
Last year, Williams defeated Blue Valley North's Scott Loftin by 3 1/2 seconds in the 3200. Williams clipped Allen by one second for the 1997 cross country crown.
This year's 3200 victory margin was by a mere hundredth of a second as the LHS junior was clocked at 9:31.86.
"We came around the corner and I guess it was time we both needed to go," Williams said. "John started his kick and I started mine. We were trying to be the first to the finish line. At the end of the race we were both glad. I think both of us were happy either way with the outcome.
"It was so close. We both leaned in. I think it was an exciting race. I kind of would have liked to watch it, but it was pretty fun to run, too."
Sumner made a move on Williams with about 300 meters remaining and the two jockeyed for position with 200 meters to go. Both runners bolted down the homestretch, Williams just leaning ahead at the finish line to stymie Sumner.
SM Northwest's Calvin Locklear finished third in 9:49.22.
Williams was content with the state title, especially after overcoming a debilitating hip flexor injury that sidelined him for two weeks earlier this season.
But while twice is nice, winning three is key.
"It feels good to try and defend the state title," Williams said. "I think a lot of times your first win is most important. But I think next year the last will be probably more important because I'll be finishing (high school competition)."
Also Saturday, Free State High's boys 4x800 relay team of Alex Roberts, Adam Brunfeldt, Ariel Ludwig and Aaron Paul took second in a blistering time of 8:07.6.
In the anchor leg, Paul had unofficial split times of 1:00 and 1:01. Ludwig was timed at 59 seconds and 1:01 while running the third leg.
"We got second and we did really well," Ludwig said. "It feels great. We ran 8:07, the best time of the year. It's about time that we do something good like that."
Ludwig, a sophomore, also was ninth in the 1600, finishing in 4:44.88.
FSHS soph Joyia Chadwick grabbed two fifth-place finishes as well as a ninth for the Firebirds' girls team.
Chadwick soared 35-4 1/4 for fifth in the triple jump -- missing her personal record by just two inches -- and also was the anchor leg of the girls' fifth-place 4x800 relay team. She finished ninth in the 1600 in 5:40.3.
"Last year I was really nervous," said Chadwick, who competed on a relay team her freshman year. "I was only in one event and I really, really got nervous. But this year I felt a lot calmer and I kind of knew what to expect. I was really nervous this morning, but I was able to get over it and go and compete my hardest."
LHS junior Charles Brown was sixth in his lone event, running the 400 in 50.62.
Free State's girls finished with 16 points and the boys had eight points. Lawrence High's boys squad tallied 11 points and the girls -- consisting only of sophomore Katie Bell's ninth-place finish in the javelin -- had no points.
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