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Double duty OK for Coomes

Newman junior loves running relays, plays baseball for mom

Newman's Quincy Coomes runs during the 3200 meter relay Thursday during prelims at the Class 1A State Track Meet.
Newman's Quincy Coomes runs during the 3200 meter relay Thursday during prelims at the Class 1A State Track Meet.

CHARLESTON – Ain't nobody happy unless momma's happy.

Well, there should be a lot of joy in the Coomes household nowadays.

Newman junior Quincy Coomes had just run his leg of the 3,200 relay, and he was close to overheating on the scorching-hot O'Brien Field track Thursday during the Class 1A State Track and Field preliminaries.

The Comets didn't run their best race, posting a time of 8 minutes, 16.77 seconds, more than 2 seconds slower than their sectional time. Nothing to do but wait, sip some water, and catch your breath.

"I don't know,"Coomes said. "It's going to be close."

About 20 minutes later came some good news – Newman's time was good enough to move on to Saturday's finals.

For Coomes, it was what he was looking for when he decided to join the track team for the first time earlier this spring. If he had his way, he'd be a track veteran.

Coomes played baseball in the spring as a freshman. He mostly played on the fresh-soph team, but got a few at-bats with the varsity.

After being a member of a state-qualifying cross country team as a sophomore, Coomes was eager to keep running – as a member of the track team.

That didn't cut it with Lana Coomes, Quincy's mother.

"My mom is a big baseball fan," Coomes said, "and she actually would not let me do track last year. Then the track team won state, and I told her, 'I'm just going to double-sport next year, so I can do both and not miss out.'"

That is just what Coomes has done, serving as a starting pitcher for the baseball team and a distance runner for the track team. One might think it would be a scheduling nightmare, but the opposite has been true.

For practices, he ran 4 or 5 miles before school to get in his track workout, freeing him up for baseball in the afternoon.

When the track team had an afternoon speed workout planned, he did that first, as he preferred to be around teammates for that particular practice. Then he went to baseball practice.

As for games, a conference baseball game in which he was scheduled to pitch was the top priority.

"It really worked out well this year," Coomes said. "There were really no conflicts, no bad feelings with the teams."

Coomes' baseball highlight was actually a somewhat frustrating loss. He went the distance in a 2-1 loss to Three Rivers rival Erie-Prophetstown.

"E-P has always been one of my favorite teams to pitch against," Coomes said. "They always give a good show. It was a close game, and I like games like that. We didn't win, but it was still a good game."

Coomes was quick to point out he has the support of both his track and baseball brethren.

"I get crap from each side, but it's always in good humor," Coomes said. "It's nothing too serious, and I take it right. I don't get too worked up about it."

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