Race Breakdown #2: Photo Finish In The 1600

Watch the race we are breaking down right above

Our second state meet race breakdown comes from indoors this past February and the Class 3 Boys 1600m run. This one was the definition of an instant classic.

Pre-Race: Entering the competition we all knew this was going to be a tough race between the Western Albemarle guys and the Christiansburg guys. Joe Hawkes was the favorite on paper but certainly not a large enough favorite to be confident in guaranteeing a win. His closest competitors were going to be his teammate Jack Eliason and then Trey Wilson and Ethan Wilson from Christiansburg. The day prior these two teams battled it out in the 4x8 with Western winning by three seconds. This was the rematch both sides wanted. 

First 400: The key in a single section final, especially indoors is getting to the break in good position. That is exactly what Hawkes did by leading the way thru the first 200 in 31 seconds. Teammates Taylor and Eliason were right behind him with the Wilsons behind them. They clocked thru the 400 at 63 seconds with it now being a three guy race of Hawkes, Eliason, and Wilson. 

Halfway: Joe continues to lead and actually puts on a few surges to drop Eliason and Wilson but he cannot shake them. By this point is completely a three-man race. They hit the 800m mark at 2:07 meaning they are also equal splitting the first two 400s. Four laps to go at this point. 

1200m: The same trend continues. Hawkes leads and unfortunately is doing all the work with Eliason and Wilson tucked in behind them. At this point in the race you know you don't want to start kicking quite yet and you also don't want to take the lead so it is basically becoming a sit and kick race on the final lap. They clocked thru the 1200 in 3:11 meaning their first three 400s were 63, 64, 64. 

Bell Lap: The three guys hit the bell lap with 3:44 on the clock (33 split 1200-1400) and as they heard the bell it was time to make a move. As the round the first turn Hawkes looks like his strides and arms are slightly laboring more than his competitors and Eliason neatly tucks into the outside of lane one meaning Wilson had no place to go. Once they were on the straightaway though Wilson uses his speed and larger stride to pull even with Hawkes with 100m to go at 3:59. 

Wilson takes over the lead and leads thru the turn and as the exit the final turn maintains his hold on the lead and pole position on the inside. Hawkes though won't go away and comes powering down to his side.

Finish: Both Hawkes and Wilson fight with every ounce of energy they have as the power down the track and the final 40m. They both launch their bodies across the line and neither knows who won until they announce it that Hawkes edged Wilson by .07 seconds or a winning margin of 0.02%. To put it another way, the city of Lynchburg is a bigger percent of the total United States population than that small margin of victory. Truly an awesome race and finish. 


1Joe Hawkes 12Western Albemarle 4:14.75 1
2Trey Wilson 12Christiansburg 4:14.82 1
3Jack Eliason 12Western Albemarle 4:15.93 1
4Ethan Wilson 12Christiansburg 4:26.41 1
5Stuart Terrill 12Western Albemarle 4:27.64 1
6Patrick Johnson 12New Kent 4:31.70 1
7Brenner Beard 12Lafayette 4:33.98 1
8Michael Menapace Jr. 11Tabb 4:38.69 1
9Joseph Taylor 11Western Albemarle 4:43.97 1
10Patrick Treutlein 10Warren County 4:45.02 1
11Dj Staton 12Warren County 4:47.41 1