Briscoe wins for injured Chargers teammate

BLOOMINGTON — On a different day, Centennial High School might have had the two best hurdlers in the Big 12 Conference.

On Tuesday, the Chargers had to settle for the best hurdler, with the knowledge that other day may never arrive.

Senior David Briscoe was the lone area varsity champion in the Big 12 Conference indoor track and field meet at Illinois Wesleyan University's Shirk Center. After qualifying third in the 55-meter hurdles, he outstepped the quickest qualifier — Danville's Josh Robinson — to win the event.

He dedicated the victory to an injured teammate, junior Jonah Peoples.

"He's my cousin, and he's faster than me," Briscoe said. "He tore a tendon in his hamstring (and is sidelined at least six weeks). I told him I'd win this for him. I've constantly told him I'd win for him. I got him (Robinson) at the end."

Briscoe's time (7.75 seconds) was his best of the season. Runner-up Robinson also ran his top time (7.77).

Tuesday's race was the first time for Briscoe to beat Robinson this season.

"My start was pretty good, but in between (the hurdles), Coach (Greg Walters) said to hammer it and I said, 'I'm going for it,' " Briscoe said.

At the time of Peoples' injury, he had posted the state's fastest indoor hurdles time this season in Class 2A.

Centennial also had two of the other three varsity runner-up finishes among area entrants. Luke Vaughn was second in the shot put (49 feet, 3 1/2 inches), and Jeff Walker was second in the long jump (20-0 1/2).

Also placing in the runner-up position was Danville pole vaulter Cirron Clark (14-0). He trailed Normal West's Eric Gordon, who cleared 16-1 to shatter the oldest-standing Big 12 mark. The previous mark, 15-6 by Normal Community's Sean Funk, was set in 1988.

"Nobody really remembers who was second," Clark said. "I've got to get better. I should have been better. We work hard indoors because we have the facility."

Danville's freshman-sophomore team finished in second place thanks to meet records from Johnny Leverenz in the 800 meters (2:07.08) and 1,600 (4:45.53) as well as from teammate Caleb Hummer in the 3,200 (10:16.68).

Bloomington won the varsity and frosh-soph crowns.

Three stars
DAVID BRISCOE, Centennial
The senior won the 55-meter hurdles in a season-best time (7.75 seconds) and placed third in the 200 meters with a time (23.58 seconds) that qualifies him for next week’s state indoor meet at the Shirk Center.

JOHNNY LEVERENZ, Danville
The Vikings entered some of their top young distance runners in the freshman-sophomore division (where they placed second as a team), and Leverenz broke records in the 800- and 1,600-meter races.

JEFF WALKER, Centennial
The Charger was the runner-up in the long jump (20-01/2) and placed fourth in the triple jump (41-8), but he was less than 3 inches from the second-place finisher in that event as well.

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