OMAHA – Brady Geise, Doug Euans, Talon Ball and Eric Heard wanted to make their trip to the state track and field meet a memorable one Friday morning.
They did that by running one of the fastest times in Louisville history in the 3,200-meter relay.
The four Lions captured fourth-place medals in the race at the Class C State Meet. Geise, Euans, Ball and Heard crossed the tape in 8:20.896. Freeman (8:15.51), West Holt (8:15.61) and St. Paul (8:18.59) were the only schools to run faster than Louisville in the 16-team event.
Geise said the Lions felt confident about their chances to finish in the top eight medal-winning spots. All four runners had clocked faster times in the weeks leading up to state, and the Louisville athletes entered Omaha Burke Stadium with upbeat attitudes. That helped them become just the second group in school history to break the 8:21 mark.
“Things went really well,” Geise said. “We prepared the best we could coming into this, so we knew we had done everything that we needed to in order to try to get something like this done. It was good running weather today, so that really helped, and everyone did a good job. It’s a great feeling to be able to get a medal.”
Euans said the four Lions enjoyed running with each other throughout the spring. He said that made a positive difference when the group reached the district and state meets. The teammates have tried to boost each other’s confidence during practices and have encouraged one another both on and off the track.
“Getting a chance to run with this group of guys has been a fun experience,” Euans said. “We’ve had a lot of good teamwork and we’ve gotten better as the year has gone on. To get to end it like this with a state medal is great.”
Geise put the Lions in contention for a state award with his work in the opening 800 meters. Euans kept the team near the top of the pack during his two laps, and Ball copied the performance during the third section of the race. Heard helped the Lions leave Omaha with a medal after his final 800 meters.
The quartet entered the season chasing the former all-time Louisville mark of 8:21.90. Marshall Norton, Chris Briggs, Scott Rice and Dan Tlustos had remained on top of the LHS leaderboard with that performance since 1987.
Geise, Euans, Ball and Heard smashed that time May 9 with their efforts at the District C-2 Meet. The quartet won the district title in 8:19.68. They then used that momentum to help them register another sub-8:21 result at state.
Geise and Euans were seniors this season, Ball was a sophomore and Heard was a freshman. Geise said both he and Euans were pleased to cap their prep careers with state hardware. He said it was also encouraging to know Ball and Heard would take the baton from them and run well in future spring campaigns.
“It feels really good,” Geise said. “Talon and Eric put in a lot of time this year to make this happen, and it’s been four years of hard work for both Doug and me. To be able to end our careers like this with a state medal is really rewarding. It’s a big deal for us.”