Decatur turns in perfect score, repeats as district champs

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
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When Triston Read crossed the finish line Tuesday at the District 8-4A championships, he was all by himself.

As he turned around and looked back on the course, a steady stream of white and blue jerseys began coming into sight. Eventually, the finish line became flooded with Eagles, as the top five runners were all from Decatur.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The Eagles had repeated as district champions, but on a wet, rainy day at Joe Wheeler Park, Decatur also turned in a perfect score, dominating the rest of the field en route to the 8-4A title.

“There’s not a lot you can say about that,” said Decatur coach David Park. “[Perfect scores] don’t come around that often, and when they do, you just appreciate them. We’ll certainly take it.”

Read took home the gold with a 16:23.9 — finishing over 20 seconds faster than teammate Matthew Ashmore, who clocked a 16:44.8 for second.

Gabe Embree took third with a 16:47.3, Derrick Bible finished fourth with a 16:58.3, and Anthony Rodriguez rounded out the top five with a 17:13.

When the dust settled, six of Decatur’s seven runners had placed in the top 10.

“Our goal was to get a perfect a score and we did that,” Read said. “We’ve been focusing in practice on packing up. This keeps our momentum going forward and really makes us look forward to regionals.”

Read steadily built his lead after the first mile, pulling ahead of Ashmore and Embree. By the final mile, Read was virtually by himself in the home stretch.

“I knew Gabe has a really strong last mile,” Read said. “I knew if I didn’t pick it up he would be right on my hip. It was just my teammates pushing me. I knew if I didn’t go I wouldn’t have the lead.”

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