Haik kicks to 1,600 victory

JEFFERSON CITY – Spencer Haik executed his strategy in the Class 4 1,600-meter run exactly how he mapped it. Kolton Sheldon wasn’t as fortunate.
Haik, a sophomore from Glendale, sat back just off the lead and kicked past the challengers to win the state title in 4:15.11. Haik rode off the shoulder of West Plains’ Drew Cargill during his kick and caught first place in the last 10 meters of the race.
“That’s what I’ve been doing all season, and it seems to work,” Haik said. “I can run out front, but I never can hold the pace for long so having someone else out there to help me really benefits me.
“That’s exactly (the strategy) I wanted. I’ve been wanting to run fast times all season but without someone pushing that pace I really haven’t been able to do it till today.”
Cargill kicked his way to second place, just as he had the night before in the 3,200-meter run, to finish in a time of 4:15.39.
“Watching that (3,200 meter run) last night, he had a crazy kick and I was worried about it, but somehow I pulled through,” Haik said.
No one wanted to take the lead in the Class 4 1,600-meter run, so Lee’s Summit North senior Kolton Sheldon took off to try to break the field. It wasn’t the strategy he wanted to run, but it was the strategy he quickly settled on after the race started.
“I wanted nothing to do with the lead,” Sheldon said. “I actually wanted to pull what Spencer Haik and Cargill did and try and kick the leader down, but nobody wanted to take it after the turn so I figured my best bet was to take and see if I couldn’t run those guys out. It ended up biting me in the butt.”
Sheldon grabbed the lead in the first 200 meters and pushed a pace he hoped will create some separation. He went through the first 800 in 2:08 and had started to build a small gap of about five meters. Marquette’s Noah Kauppila, the 3,200-meter champion Friday, and Cargill surged to close the gap on the third lap, and Cargill began his kick in earnest early on the final circuit with Haik riding just off his hip.
Sheldon pushed to keep his pursuers at bay, but he got passed in the final strides and took third in 4:15.58.
“I know I’m good enough to hang with these guys, good enough to push these guys to the breaking point,” Sheldon said. “I just hoped that I could get enough of lead that they couldn’t kick me down.”