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Track: Perfect storm – Eagles rally to capture 9-4A title

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, April 14, 2018
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Pulling Away

PULLING AWAY – Decatur’s Tristan Read brings home the 9-4A title for the Eagles in the 4×400. Decatur ran a 3:30.04. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Running the anchor leg in the 4×400, Triston Read anxiously awaited the handoff from teammate Christian Isaac. As Read took the baton, Decatur coach Landon Wren had a simple message.

“Go bring it home!” Wren yelled as Read bolted towards the first turn.

Less than a minute later, Read was alone on the home stretch, darting toward the finish line. As he crossed it, Read was mobbed by his teammates.

The comeback was complete.

The Eagles erased a 43-point deficit entering the final day of the 9-4A meet to claim the district title Thursday at Argyle, finishing with 191 points.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” Wren said. “Argyle is a worthy competitor. [Wednesday] didn’t go quite like we wanted it to. They got a big lead on us. I knew it was going to be tough today, and everything had to go right for us. They were going to have to make a mistake or two, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Argyle was disqualified from the 4×200 relay, giving Decatur an opportunity to get back in the hunt. The Eagles took second in the race, trimming Argyle’s lead to just 13 points with five events left.

“I was waiting for them to make a mistake, and that was the mistake we needed,” Wren said. “That was a 16-point swing. At that point, I felt like the tide had turned. I knew with what we had coming up, if our kids performed like they had all year, we would be in this position right now.

“They exceeded my expectations. I knew we had a chance, but to come storming back on day two like we did, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Decatur had a lead going into the 4×400 – the last event of the night – but needed to place fourth or better to secure the crown. Instead of making his team sweat it out, Read preserved the Eagles’ lead in the final leg of the race and even built on it.

Decatur finished in 3:30.04, 2.35 seconds faster than second-place Sanger.

“I thought someone was right behind me,” Read said. “That’s why I started running faster. I couldn’t really feel my legs. Last year we were all pretty depressed and sad that we didn’t get first. Now that we’ve won, it’s pretty awesome.”

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