COLUMBUS — Medina resident Steele Wasik has seen a lot of success at the state track and field championships during his high school career.
The one thing that was missing from the St. Edward senior’s impressive resume, which included a host of podium appearances individually and with relays and a pair of team Division I championships, was an individual gold medal.
That changed Saturday night, as Wasik captured the 300-meter hurdles en route to placing in three events and leading the Eagles to fourth in front of a packed crowd at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“Before the race, I was thinking that I can be the guy that’s remembered for being second and always getting the silver medals or I can be the guy that puts the icing on the cake for his career,” he said. “It could’ve gone either way, but I pushed it and now I can go home happy.”
After losing a thrilling 110-meter hurdles final earlier in the day to Glenville’s Davon Anderson, the two staged an equally as exciting finish in the 300s.
Anderson was leading heading into the final hurdle when Wasik took advantage on his opponent’s hesitation. Wasik cleared the obstacle first and out-leaned the fellow 12th-grader at the finish line for the win in 0.08 seconds.
Wasik’s personal-best time of 36.31 is the second fastest in the country, according to milesplit.com, and just 0.07 behind Robert Grant of Brophy College Prep (Ariz.).
“(Anderson’s) faster than me. There’s no doubt about it,” the UCLA recruit said. “I know I’m stronger, though, and I think I have better form. The St. Edward motto is ‘Never Give Up,’ and that’s something I’ve thought about all week. He took the lead with about 30 meters to go and I know the last hurdle is the hardest, but I wasn’t going to let him get over before me.”
Wasik was busy from the time he arrived at the stadium Saturday, competing in the long jump and 110 hurdles before his championship run. Wasik also was a state qualifier in the high jump, but opted out of the competition.
He was fifth in the long jump, clearing 22-feet, 8 inches on his final attempt. He then went on to clock 13.94 to finish behind Anderson (13.64) in the 110 hurdles.
It was Wasik’s win in the 300 hurdles, however, that was a perfect ending to a storied high school career before his hits the track this summer for national and international competitions in the decathlon.
“It’s one of those things that for the past month I’ve lost sleep because I get so wrapped up in it,” he said. “Now that I’ve finished this race and I’m wearing a medal, I have so much to look forward to and I’m so thankful, but now I can relax a little bit.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.