STERLING – Brady Rude knew he had ground to make up. Chris Bauer knew he did, too. Ryan Mayberry knew he got off to the best start, but he also knew the other two were lurking behind him.
In a near photo finish, Newman sophomore Rude eked out a 60-meter dash victory over Morrison senior Mayberry and Erie-Prophetstown senior Bauer in the highlight event Tuesday evening at the Rosenberry Classic at Westwood Sports Complex.
Rude's time of 7.28 seconds was .01 faster than Mayberry's 7.29, and Bauer clocked a 7.31 for an extremely close third. The difference: Rude was leaning forward at the finish, clearing the line with the requisite chest and shoulders, while Mayberry crossed the line first with his foot.
"There's no margin for error in the 60," said Rude, who also won the 200 (23.501) and the long jump (20 feet, 2 inches). "I saw Mayberry and Bauer clearly about a foot ahead of me out of the blocks, so I just tried to relax, keep my form and trust that I could catch them by the end."
Mayberry, who converted to a sprinter midway through last season, trailed the other two by .03 seconds after prelims. Relatively new to starting out of the blocks, the former distance runner was pleased to stay so close to two of the area's fastest guys in his first real race of the season.
"I knew they'd be fast, and I knew I had to push it the whole way," Mayberry said. "I got off to a good start, and Brady just caught me from behind at the very end. It's a big confidence builder, and I'm looking to keep building off of these early season times."
Mayberry added another runner-up in the 200 (23.549), while Bauer finished off the trio's second 1-2-3 finish of the day with a third in the 200 (23.768).
But the capper for Bauer was the 800 relay, where he teamed with Dylan Binion, Dvaree Thompson and Kyle Pannier for a time of 1:36.13 to set a new meet record. It broke the old record of 1:36.20, set by Newman in 2008.
"We didn't really expect to do that, but it all just kind of clicked for us," Bauer said. "We got second at the indoor state meet last Friday, but one of the guys who ran that with us did the open 400 today instead.
"It was a nice bonus after just missing in the 60 and 200. Mayberry kicked our butts out of the blocks in that 60, but it was a really good run for all three of us … and in the 200, too."
Binion added a tight win over Newman junior Regan Todhunter in the 60 high hurdles, clocking an 8.64 to Todhunter's 8.69.
"It was a tough start, but I was able to catch back up," said Todhunter, who easily won his prelim heat. "I'm always nervous about my starts, switching my feet in the blocks, but once I get into the race, I really pick up confidence."
In addition to its success on the track, Erie-Prophetstown got wins from Grant Ames in the high jump (5-11) and Pannier in the pole vault (12-0); the Panthers also took second and third in the vault, from Jared Cole (11-6) and Tyler Naftzger (11-0). It led to 118 team points, 40 better than runner-up Bureau Valley. Fulton was third with 70, and Newman placed fourth with 68. Amboy was sixth (25) and Morrison placed eighth (20).
The Comets also got event wins from Nolan McGinn in the triple jump (42-4) and the 3,200 relay team of Drew Rosengren, Micah Trancoso, Clay Jungermann and Quincy Coomes (9:00.80).
Bureau Valley matched E-P's four first-place finishes, including a new meet record time of 3:39.88 in the 1,600 relay from the team of Kane Eastwood, Colton Peterson, Tucker Schoff and Daniel Trone. Eastwood also won the 800 (2:08.20), Ryan Taylor took the 1,600 (4:56.60), and Justin Buckman (45-0 1/2) and Austin Seitter (40-11 3/4) went 1-2 in the shot put.
Boys track & field
Top 4 teams: 1. Erie-Prophetstown 118; 2. Bureau Valley 78; 3. Fulton 70; 4. Newman 68
Star of the meet: Brady Rude, Newman, won 60-meter dash, 200 & long jump
Up next: Girls' Rosenberry Classic, 4:30 p.m. today at Westwood