Wayne's Sebastian wins 100 meter
CHARLESTON -- Wayne High School has cranked out another sprint champion.
Kade Sebastian didn't get caught up in the distractions surrounding his first first trip to the West Virginia High School Track and Field Championships at Laidley Field. Instead, the freshman ran a personal-best 11.34 seconds to edge Weir's Jonathan Rice (11.35) and win the Class AA 100-meter dash Saturday afternoon.
"It still hasn't set in yet," Sebastian said after picking up his championship medal at the awards stand where the crowd acknowledged his proud moment. "When I lay down in bed tonight or maybe Monday at school."
In trials Friday night, Sebastian clocked 11.45 seconds to place fourth and advance to the finals. There, he had just enough to hold off Weir. The last Wayne runner to win the 100 was Rodney Endicott in 2007 when he swept the 100 and 200.
"At first I thought I lost," Sebastian said. "Then I learned I won it. Call it luck. ... a little bit. A lot of it is a gift. I ran my race."
This makes two state titles for Sebastian in year one in high school. He's a wingback and cornerback for the Pioneers in football and they beat Keyser on Nov. 30, 2012,to finish unbeaten and repeat as Class AA champion
Before the weekend, Sebastian encountered rather small crowds at meets. That wasn't the case Friday and Saturday where the stands on the press box side were quite full.
"I had no idea of what I was walking into," Sebastian said. "There was nothing compared to this."
In middle school, Sebastian won all but one race in his career.
Moving up to high school, he had similar success unless he found himself in the field along with Marquez Griffin of Class AAA Point Pleasant. They crossed paths at least three times and Griffin finished ahead of Sebastian each time -- Carlos Akers/Doc Hale Memorial at Cabell Midland, Dick Darby Invitational at Point Pleasant and Teays Physical Therapy Winfeld Classic.
"He's just a good runner," Sebastian said. "Competing against him helped me a lot."
Unfortunately for Griffin, he reached the Class AAA finals Saturday, but went out on a false start.
During the season, Sebastian admitted he did get distracted by the mannerisms of other runners. That wasn't the case Saturday.
"Focus has been a problem," he said. "I'd look around and see runners waving their arms. I looked straight ahead this time."
Sebastian had hoped to be in the 200 as well, but issues with his right foot limited him to running the 100 and legs on the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. The foot problem flared up two weeks ago. Sebastian took some time off, plus help from Wayne football trainer Jason Eaches got him back in form.
"I owe a lot to him," Sebastian said.
Neither Wayne relay team made the top six.
Sebastian said Wayne coaches Jeff and Jeanette Rutherford got him ready to handle the big stage.
And now Sebastian knows the pressure that he avoided as a freshman will be present in 2014 when he tries to repeat.
"I've set the bar high," he said.