AUSTIN — For the past two seasons the Pottsboro boys 1,600 relay team just missed out on a medal with back-to-back fourth-place finishes.
There would be no fourth place this time. This time, there was a state championship.
Pottsboro bolted to the lead and ran away with the gold medal in the Class 3A race at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday afternoon, winning in 3:16.92.
The effort by the senior quartet of Trevor Fryar, Myles Mitchusson, Matthew Poe and Jack Arnold set the school record by breaking the old mark of 3:19.03 from 2009 when those Cardinals were the state runner-up.
It was a huge improvement for the same foursome from last year, which claimed fourth at 3:22.93. East Bernard finished with the silver in 3:19.05 and tried to get back in it but never really closed the gap after the first lap.
“We’ve all been running it for two years,” Poe said. “It’s pretty special. Running with these guys every in practice and honing that bond. Us all being seniors makes this pretty awesome.”
The Cardinals, who have competed in the mile relay five of the last nine years, came in with the fastest qualifying time – 3:20.90 – and East Bernard was next and served as the biggest threat. That proved true as Yoakum managed bronze in 3:21.26.
Fryar gave Pottsboro the edge on East Bernard going into his handoff with Mitchusson, who significantly widened the margin on the second lap.
“The team depended on me and I had to do my best,” Fryar said. “Before the race we were putting our times together. We didn’t think (3:16.92) was possible.”
Mitchusson is fully healthy after a hamstring injury sidelined him for a month and kept him from trying for another medal in the 100.
“Just knowing it was my last race, I had to sell out and that’s what I did,” Mitchusson said. “It’s a great feeling to finally get a medal.”
His first race back was the Region II final and he and Arnold had been on the previous two fourth-place efforts.
Poe managed that lead as East Bernard was giving chase and then Arnold closed out the victory, raising both hands in what was a long-awaited triumph.
“I just ran my race,” Arnold said. “When the announcer said Pottsboro with the first hand-off, I knew.”