No. 4 - Kevin Moshier Final Lap Sprint
Nobody saw it coming the first time. But no one could respond the second or third. Kevin Moshier came into the season as the 2016 defending Indoor State Champion for the 1600m, but he had come up short in his Outdoor attempt. One year later, and Moshier was far from the favorite heading into the race. He was seeded 7th, well out of first down at 4:15. New competition would require new tactics.
The year before, Moshier led the race from 800m on out. He had run a big personal best of 4:20.44 to win back then. It wouldn't cut it one year later. Moshier had been on the sidelines for years, watching female teammate Jess Lawson kick past the field in the final lap, leading to numerous State Titles in the process. Why not try out the winning formula for himself?
Moshier got out quick, then quickly settled in. He was in the lead pack, but let Aidan Ryan do the early work. There were about five athletes in the lead pack, dictating the pace of the race. Round and round they went, no one pushing the pace for the lead. It came down to the final lap, and Moshier positioned himself. Sitting in 5th, he waited for 100m to go. Then, he let loose, driving down the back-turn, and powering away from the field. It caught the entire field off-guard, and no one was able to respond. Moshier's last 200m would come across in 27.80, with the bulk of the sprinting coming in the last 100m. He walked away with a new personal best of 4:13.79, and another State Title.
Come Spring Track, it was time to up the ante. Whereas he faded in the 3200m the year before, Moshier decided it was time to tackle both the 1600m and 3200m at his final Spring State Meet. He had never won the 3200m before at a State Meet. He wasn't even within striking distance of the top seeds in the State, much of which came from the always fast Loucks Games. But this wasn't Loucks. The gun goes off, and once again, the field slows it down right away. 1600m in, and they were already 5-seconds slower than the slow heat. If anyone wanted to win, it was time to ramp up. Indoor State Champ Paul Dellinger began to ramp up, but only just. Once again, Moshier waited in the wings. With 250m to go, the kick was on. Moshier again came out of 5th place, and powers away. The field isn't ready to respond, and off he goes. He closes the final lap in 58.41, and comes away with his first 3200m State Title. One more to go, to stay undefeated on the track.
One day later, Chris Tibbetts was coming into the 1600m as the top seed, tired from the 3200m the night before. He had seen Moshier kick away before, as he was also in the 1600m field Indoors. He knew if he could push the pace early, the tired legs of Moshier may be worn out. Moshier was only the 8th seed, but had run faster than the field indoors. Once again, Aidan Ryan pulled the field out fast, this time Matt Politis right in tow. Moshier again sat in the mid-pack, and waited for his moment. However, Tibbetts was doing much the same. Moshier pulled away in the final lap, and Tibbets began to hunt him down. Coming down the final stretch, Moshier grabs the advantage, and outlasts the field, who was closing close behind. Mission accomplished, displaying the ability to react to the race in any way possible.