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Fairland's Wireman takes two

May. 04, 2013 @ 12:28 AM

SOUTH POINT, Ohio -- It's not every day a runner scores a sweep in the distance races and gets his picture taken with former Olympic standouts at the awards ceremony.

Fairland's Raine Wireman got to live that moment Friday night at the Arthur Lydiard Classic at South Point High School. The senior won the 1600 (meet record time of 4:27.99) and 800 (2:04.99) and got to shake hands, have a photo taken and get a track history lesson from Barry Magee and Bill Baillie, former Olympic standouts from New Zealand.

"I'm very fortunate and blessed," Wireman said. "Olympians in South Point. ... doesn't happen very often."

The meet is named after Arthur Lydiard, a successful distance running coach from New Zealand.

Magee and Baillie joined with Nick Willis to give a talk and show video highlights of their careers during a meeting Thursday night at the school. They joined fans and athletes for the meet and handled several awards presentations.

Wireman's 1600 award was named for Murray Halberg, gold medalist in the 1960 Olympics in the 5,000. Peter Snell's name was on the 800 award. He won gold in that event in the same Olympics in Rome.

"It was great to meet them and talk to them," Wireman said. "They told me a lot about Peter Snell. It was great to hear."

In the team standings, Athens won the girls title with 154 points. Host South Point was second with 89 and Fairland third with 86.50. Unioto won the boys division with 120 points. Minford was second with 99 and Athens third with 87.50.

Wireman outkicked Unioto's Ethan Richter to prevail in the 1600. He got the best of another Unioto runner, Brenson Zambarrano, to take the 800 and complete the double. He now has the meet records for both events.

"That's a nice way to go out," Wireman said.

In the 1600, Wireman was on the inside and sprinted to get to the front coming out of the first turn. The race turned into a duel between him and Richter with Wireman maintaining the lead the whole way.

"I didn't want to get caught early and mess up my stride," Wireman said of the quick start. "I made my move on the turn of the last lap. You never feel you're home free. You don't know what they have left. I gave it all I had."

After a break to rest, Wireman won the 800, but he admitted his time was disappointing.

"I was tired, but that's no excuse," he said. "I should've done better."

Magee won the bronze medal in the marathon in the 1960 Olympics and now is a top distance coach in New Zealand. Baillie is a former national champion of New Zealand in events ranging from 800 to 10,000 meters. Nick Willis won silver in the 1500 in the 2008 OIympics and currently is training for the World Championships. Bob Schul, representing the United States, joined the New Zealanders at the meet. He's the only American to win Olympic gold in the 5,000.

Kahurangi, a music group from Hastings, New Zealand, provided entertainment Thursday and performed at the opening ceremony on Friday. National anthems from New Zealand and United States were played.

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