Tallmadge senior reaches podium at state meet

Published:

by Frank Aceto

Associate Sports Editor

Some 10 weeks ago, Tallmadge senior Brian McGovern never imagined he would be in this position again.

"The injury bummed me out," he said.

McGovern, who finished sixth in the 800-meter race at the 2013 Division I state track and field meet, suffered a leg injury earlier in the season and had to miss nine weeks.

At that point, it looked like the red-headed senior needed to call it a career and focus on college.

Wrong.

McGovern returned for the league meet and capped off a remarkable comeback by finishing sixth in the 800-meter race at the Division I state track and field meet.

The state meet concluded June 7 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

McGovern ran a time of 1 minute, 54.1 seconds. At last year's state meet, he ran a school-record 1:53.68.

"I felt like I could have done better," McGovern said. "I ran a 53-second split on the first lap and that was fast for me. Unfortunately, my legs locked up and the heat got to me on the second lap."

Fortunately for McGovern, he earned his second trip to the podium. The top eight finishers reached the podium.

"[Senior] Pat [Ferguson] and [junior] Zack [Murray] were there, along with my whole family," McGovern said. "I didn't really want sixth place, but I had to celebrate."

McGovern was in second place after the first lap and was in the hunt for the title late in the race. Unfortunately, he ran out of gas.

"He was side by side with the kid who eventually won it [Newark's Anthony Johnson]," Blue Devils head coach Mike Srodawa said. "It was a 10-degree difference from the stands to the track. He was third coming off the final curve, but that's when everybody made a push."

While McGovern would have loved to run faster, Srodawa preferred to focus on his star pupil's stellar career.

"He did as best as he could," Srodawa said. "He became only the second male in school history to be All-Ohio in the same event in different years."

McGovern, who spent last week relaxing in Myrtle Beach, S.C., will put the running shoes aside for a short while.

"I just need two weeks off," he said. "I recently tweaked my left foot a few weeks ago. I'll get an X-Ray after I get back."

Tallmadge finished in a six-way tie for 52nd place with three points. A total of 71 teams scored.

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