ROOTING, PA — Greg Evans of Southern Ohio sent shockwaves through the track world when he surprisingly sprinted away from the field to win the Mid Valley Conference 60-meter-dash Championship. After making it to finals as the 8th and final seed, Evans won the conference title with a time of 10.43 seconds, the slowest winning time in the event’s history.
The defeat came at the hands of James Long and Timothy Smith of Southeastern and Penn Atlantic respectively; two of the top sprinters in the nation, who decided to make this year’s conference title a tactical affair.
“I was in lane 1, and I’m legally blind in my right eye,” said Greg Evans, a senior walk on who was running in his first conference meet. “So I just ran my race and it turned out to be the best race plan possible. I knew it needed to be tactical for me to win, and that’s exactly what I got.”
Timothy Smith had gotten out to a lead at 40-meters on James Long almost every race they had run, but this time decided to switch things up and get out a little easier: “My coach and I decided to mess with [Long’s] head. So, I threw the start a little and he came out in the lead—we had no idea it would mess with everyone so much,” said Smith, referring to what transpired 20-meters into the race.
At this point the race turned to a crawl. Long, who usually came from behind, found himself ahead of the Penn Atlantic runner and slowed to a jog to get in better position. The rest of the runner’s in the field slowed down so as not to mess with their own race plans, which had them keying off of Long and Smith. It was a spectacle to be seen: runner’s jogging in a 60-meter-dash.
“It was the weirdest thing I have seen in my 25 years of coaching,” said Southeastern coach Ronald Rogers.
Not all runners were affected, however. Greg Evans of Southern Ohio sprinted away on the inside and by the time he was closing in on the finish line it was too late for any of the more talented sprinters to catch up.
“I just took off,” said Evans. “And I guess when everyone decided to ‘kick’ with 20-meters to go, I just had a little too much on them.”