By Josh Brown
COLUMBUS — Mitchell Poynter wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way.
“Now THAT was a race,” the Tippecanoe senior said. “That was fun. That was a real race.”
Poynter fought off a horde of contenders all jockeying for second place, doing whatever they could just to gain even the slightest bit of ground, finishing as the state runner-up in the boys 1,600 in a time of 4:12.42 at the Division I state track and field meet Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Poynter finished behind defending state champion Gavin Gaynor, another senior from Hudson, who finished in 4:09.24. The next five places behind him — all the way to Piqua’s Andy Mayse in seventh — were roughly within two and a half seconds at 4:14.77.
‘Roughly’ being the key word.
“We were all bumping and fighting for position,” Poynter said. “It was a lot of fun. I can’t even say that enough. It was just a good, fun race. I was going for second, and I knew I had to hold onto my position once I got it.”
Going in, Poynter had only the eighth-best time from the regionals at 4:18.01 — and an hour-and-a-half lightning and rain delay didn’t do anyone any favors.
“Oh, I was so ready to go before the race,” Poynter said. “I just knew it was going to be an hour or more, though, so I just sat around, joked with my coach a bit and kept it light, then warmed up when I needed to.”
As for the end of his high school career?
“Oh, I’m extremely pleased,” Poynter said. “I couldn’t be happier. The regional was not my best race, but this was a great one to go out on. That made it (his career). I’ve been really lucky. I thank God for the experiences that he’s given me. There was no pressure going into this race, so this was just icing on the cake.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.