By MAT MIKESELL
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
PITTSFIELD, Ill. — Kit Mefford and Connor Wolf both learned a simple lesson at the end of the 800-meter dash.
Don't let up before the finish line.
Liberty's Wolf forgot the rule. Pittsfield's Mefford didn't.
Mefford passed Wolf at the tape, winning the event at the Tom Johnson Invitational with a time of 2 minutes, 12.09 seconds. Wolf finished at 2:12.15.
"I didn't think I was going to catch him," Mefford said. "I think she lowed down a little bit. But I really thought he had it."
Wolf slowed down about 10 meters from the finish line, while Mefford, who was in third with 100 meters to go, ran through the finish line in a full sprint.
Pittsfield coach Adam Singler stood at the finish line yelling at Mefford to keep running to catch Wolf.
"A lot of races, kids will cut it short," Singler said. "Even on the short races. Kit does so well because he doesn't quit on a race."
Wolf admitted he let up before the finish line. He didn't think Mefford was as close as he turned out to be.
"I thought I was fine and kind of coasted through," Wolf said. "I was just like, ‘Oh, crap.' I didn't see him coming."
While he was upset at himself for letting up, Wolf knows there will be a chance for retribution.
Mefford and Wolf compete against one another often in track and cross country and will square off again. Wolf will make sure to finish his next race.
"I got to run through the line," Wolf said. "Coach tells us to run through the line in practice, and I didn't do it."
Louisiana won the team title with 141 points, while Liberty was second with 80 points. North Greene finished third with 69, while Unity was fourth (61) and Pittsfield was fifth (60).
Louisiana's Daylon Greene swept the 100, 200 and 400 dashes. Louisiana's Gabe Henderson won the 110 hurdles and Brycen Cropp won the 300 hurdles.
Unity's Cory Miller captured the 1,600 and 3,200.
The Bulldogs' team of Cropp, Henderson, Elijah Oblinger and Tristan Castiglia won the 4x100 relay. Abricion Ivey, Oblinger, Henderson and Castiglia won the 4x200.
Liberty's team of Wolf, Evan Schreacke, Michael Blewett and Austin Mast took the 4x400 and Wolf, Schreacke, Logan Waid and Levi Obert won the 4x800.
In the field events, Ivey won the long jump and Castiglia won the triple jump. Unity's Alex Blickhan took the high jump at 6 feet, 2 inches.