JEFFERSON CITY — Hickman's Ben Brooks won the boys 100-meter race, and Rock Bridge's Taylor McDannold won the girls 100 meters Saturday at the 11-team Capitol City Relays in Jefferson City.
Brooks' victory was one of three Hickman event titles, while McDannold added her win to seven other Bruins' victories.
McDannold hopped around just before she got set in the blocks for her finals race, waiting until the last second to take her spot at the starting line. She jumped as high as she could before she put her hands on the track. She stretched out her right leg behind her and put it in the block, then did the same with her left foot.
From there it was a matter of focus. If a sprinter leaves their mark before the starter's gun sounds, they could false start. But a moment's delay getting out of the blocks, could end their chances at winning.
“I don’t really think about anything,” said McDannold about the start.
McDannold slipped initially. She had just seconds to adjust.
“Even if I get behind, I usually try to find another gear to kick in,” McDannold said.
McDannold surged ahead halfway through the race to win in 13.54 seconds.
Brooks, on the other hand, started his finals race well. He left the blocks in lane five quickly, but runners in lanes four and six pulled out ahead of him in the first 30 meters. He also surged ahead in the second half of the race.
Brooks runs with his head straight, focused on the finish line, but he said he can see runners with his peripheral vision. So, when he couldn't see any other competitors, he knew he was in the lead.
Still, Kewpies teammate Devon Larry looked as though he might catch Brooks with 20 meters to go.
Brooks' short, fast and efficient strides prevailed, though, and he crossed the finish line in 11.22 seconds.