STRASBURG – Kyle Clanton wasn’t at 100 percent health-wise, but he didn’t let that slow him down on the track.
The Central senior, who has been battling a heel injury the past week, won four events in the boys Bull Run District Track and Field Championship on Thursday.
Clanton won the long jump, the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash. He is the reigning state champion in the 100, 200 and 400.
“I had a good day,” Clanton said. “It was nice weather for once. ...Coming to districts and winning long (jump) and (100, 200 and 400) is something I wanted to do. So I’m very proud to do that on a day like today.”
Clanton, who was named the top-point scorer of the Bull Run District meet, said he injured his heel last week in the Shenandoah County meet. He said that he only jumped once in the long jump in order to rest his injured heel a little bit. His one jump was good enough to win the long jump with a leap of 20-11.75.
Clanton won the 100 (11.10), 200 (22.53) and the 400 (51.24) by at least a half of a second in each race. His 22.53 time in the 200 was his best this season in that race.
“It felt good coming around the turn and felt strong coming into the final leg,” Clanton said.
Clanton also finished eighth in the shot put with a throw of 34-04.00.
Clanton said that it’s hard staying focused all season when the obvious end goal is to win more state titles.
“Trying to stay focused on what the real goal is is tough sometimes,” Clanton said. “But everybody out here does their best. Give all the glory to God for keeping my mind right and just giving me God-blessed talent.”
One of Clanton’s top competitors is Strasburg’s Stephen Kloosterman, who also had a strong day overall. Kloosterman won the triple jump with a leap of 41-06.00.
Kloosterman said it helped that Clanton didn’t perform in the triple jump due to his injury. Kloosterman was second in the high jump (5-10) and second in the long jump (20-00.50). He was also fourth in the 100 (12.00) and eighth in the 200 (24.84).
“I could have done better,” Kloosterman said of his day. “But you know what not everybody has their best day – and that’s all right.”
Kloosterman said he’s looking forward to seeing what he can do in next week’s Region 2B meet.
“I’m definitely excited,” he said. “It’s the meet right before states. You still got to give it your all. I’d like to be in as many events individually at states as I can, even if that’s two or three – I’m all right with that.”
Strasburg junior DaNeil Holiday overcame a slow start and won the discus with a throw of 137-10.
“My first three throws I was nervous because I didn’t even go over 120,” Holiday said. “But then I did a few warm-up throws after that and I was feeling good. I was like today’s the day. I got to do what I got to do.”
Holiday said that he threw his winning throw on his second throw of the finals. He also finished second in the shot put with a throw of 40-05.00.
It’s the first year Holiday has participated in track and field and he said he’s enjoying doing the throws.
Central’s Declan Franklin finished second in the discus (137-06) and third in the shot put (39-03.50).
Strasburg junior Anthony Cadle won the 3,200-meter run in a time of 11:12.76, followed by teammate Tyler Zimbro (11:21.02).
Cadle said that he and Zimbro push each other and help make each other better.
“We work well,” Cadle said. “I love running with him because we push each other. We know how each other runs. We just come up with a game plan before the start of the race. It’s just really fun, and I love having a partner to run with because I definitely could not do it by myself. I need somebody there to push me throughout the race and he does a great job with that.”
Central’s Antonio Nieves finished second in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:06.21.
Strasburg’s 4x400 relay team of Kobe Sterling, Eryc Godlove, Trevor Mercer and Brady Neary finished second (3:49.17). Strasburg’s 4x800 relay squad of Zimbro, Cadle, Zach Asher and Joshua Knight placed second (9:04.25).
Strasburg’s Russell Reeder finished second in the triple jump (39-04.00) and third in the long jump (18-06.50). Neary was third in the triple jump (37-11).
The Rams finished second as a team with 125 points, while Clarke County won the boys meet with 144 points. Central was fourth with 65 points.
Strasburg coach Ina Rae Crisman said she can’t wait to see what her teams do in next week’s Region 2B meet on Wednesday at East Rockingham.
“I’m very excited. I really am,” Crisman said. “You just never know what to expect. But there were a lot of wonderful surprises today. So I’m very excited about next week. I think the momentum will keep going.”