JEFFERSON CITY -- It was one of the few races at the state meet that nearly everyone had a solid hunch as to who was going to win. The only thing left to speculate about was the possible time.
The time surpassed most guesses, but Cardinal Ritter sophomore Charles Jones Jr. was actually a little disappointed it wasn't even faster. That's tough to say after he had just run the fourth fastest time in the country in the 800-meter run this year at 1:49.96.
"I look at on the bright side, I got the class record," Jones said. "I wasn't too bummed, but I am disappointed though."
Jones, who goes by CJ, took down Jason Pyrah's 1987 record of 1:51.25 to set a new Class 3 mark. However, CJ wanted the overall mark of 1:49.89, which he missed by .07 seconds. Forever chasing new records to topple, CJ immediately began talking about the marks he intends to rewrite this summer, including the AAU and USATF junior records.
The AAU record, which CJ said was 1:49.3, is within reach after his state performance. The USATF junior record is 1:49.49.
"I'm going to work a lot harder in the summertime, so I should break the record," CJ said. "Today it was Amos (Bartelsmeyer of MICDS) and Kellin Loch (of Warrensburg), they were motivating me today because I knew they were there. That motivated me to go from the start, because if I didn't, they would've caught up with me."
Loch finished second in 1:51.28, and Bartelsmeyer was third in 1:52.76.
CJ is also motivated to set the bar high for Brandon Miller, a family friend who CJ has taken under his wing.
"I call him my little brother," CJ said. "I want him to do everything I did when he gets older and break all my records. He's 10 now and runs a 2:22 and 4:54 in the 1,500s. He broke the national record for his age group last year."
CJ was on the record-setting 3,200-meter relay on Friday that lowered the Class 3 mark to 7:50.58. He had a third record in him when he anchored the 1,600 relay on Saturday to a 3:17.24, bettering the old Class 3 mark by a half second.