Brandtson Duffie and Matthew Mangus of Fairfield made a return trip to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Saturday to take part in day two of the OHSAA State Track and Field Meet. Duffie and Mangus competed on Friday in the finals of the D III 4×800-meter relay and returned Saturday to compete in the 800-meter and 3200-meter run respectively.
Duffie earned the right to represent Fairfield in the State Meet courtesy of a 1:57.06 time at the Region 11 Regional Track and Field Championship in Lancaster that was good enough for first place in the event.
Duffie did not disappoint at the State level as he recorded a time of 1:56.03 to earn third place in the event as a junior, with one year of eligibility left.
Duffie ran at a steady pace about midway through the pack for much of the race. But, with about 200-meters to go coming around the last turn and through the home stretch Duffie turned switched into high gear and powered to the finish for third place.
Duffie spoke about the race afterwards and described what happened throughout.
“I got out faster than I usually do and I was happy about that, just putting myself in good position. I came across the line, I’m guessing in eighth or ninth, and just really stayed with that pack that I was in. With 200 left I got passed by a couple of guys and kicked hard like I have been doing all year and it just ended up where I really wanted to be,” said Duffie.
Mangus advanced to the State meet via the Region 11 championships where he finished in third place with a qualifying time of 9:42.64. Mangus finished just ahead of fellow Southern Hills Athletic Conference 3200-meter runner Matthew Seas.
On Saturday Mangus ran a clean race and posted a time of 9:42.95 to earn a seventh place and a spot on the podium. Mangus got caught in no-mans-land in between two packs of runners about halfway through the race and was forced to expend more energy than necessary to maintain his pace. Matthew still found enough juice at the end of the race to pass several runners on the final lap and earn his place on the podium.
After the race, Mangus talked about the difference of racing this year in the 3200 and last year in the same event at State.
“This race was a lot more competitive than last year, it was a lot faster. Last year I was seventh with a 9:50 and this year it took 9:42 to get seventh, the same place, so it was a lot tougher this year,” Mangus said.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.