MURFREESBORO, Tenn.-Josh Robinson was one stride from sweeping state championships in both Class A/AA hurdles events. Just then, Memphis Fairley's Shaquille Moore made a dive across the finish line, crashing shoulder-first into the track to claim first place in the 300-meter race.
Moore's leap of faith sent him across the line at the 40.02-second mark, while Red Bank's Robinson finished in 40.06.
"He came out of nowhere," Robinson said. "I thought I had it and then I see this body flying by me. I mean, he dove across. He's a nice runner and I guess that takes guts to win at all cost, but it would make me mad if it wasn't so funny. Wow, he dove to beat me."
Earlier in the evening, Robinson easily won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.41, more than a second ahead of his closest competitor, and helped Red Bank's 4x100 relay team to a second-place finish. Signal Mountain's Chris Abernathy was third in the hurdles.
"Two seconds and a gold isn't a bad day's work," Robinson said. "The guy closest to me hit a hurdle, and as soon as I see somebody make a mistake, I attack and push harder. I did all I could today, so I'm happy about that."
Aside from also helping the 4x100 relay, Lions teammate Kameno Watson finished second in the 200.
Also in A/AA, Arts & Sciences' Patrick Taylor won the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 11.75 inches and Sequatchie County's Hunter Lewis became the Dunlap school's first individual state champion in any sport, winning the triple jump with a school-record leap of 44-6. That broke his brother's mark of 43-7.5.
"I just wanted to beat his record, and I wound up winning the state on my last leap," Lewis said. "When I saw how far I had cleared, it was more of a relief. I feel like this is the payoff for a lot of hard work."
Central's Demarcus Rogers was third in the triple jump, and Tyner's Jabrie Leverett finished third in the 400.
The only area boy to win an event in Class AAA was Walker Valley's Brad Davis, who claimed the 100-meter title in 10.73 seconds, the fastest time of the day in any classification.
In Division II, after a stomachache left him in eighth place in the 3200, Baylor sophomore Simon Holden rebounded to win the 1600, marking the fourth straight year a Red Raiders runner won that event.
"I felt strong to start the fourth lap, so I decided it was time to kick it in," said Holden, who set a personal best by more than three seconds. "This race was my redemption for what happened earlier in the 3200. I was pretty sick in that race, but I feel pretty good now after winning this one."
McCallie's Terrance Wilson won the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 6 inches, and Blue Tornado hurdler Iman Isang was second in the 110.