At this year’s state track meet, McDonald’s Miles Dunlap finished the first of his three races semi-satisfied.
He finished the second one semi-scared.
After placing second in the 110-meter hurdles by just two-hundredths of a second, Dunlap got off to a good start in the 300 hurdles, then hit a snag.
“The beginning half of the race was good, but coming off the bend, I was a little shaky,” he said. “I was in fifth with two hurdles left, which was nerve-wracking.
“I just kind of ran my butt off on the home stretch and leaned [across the finish line] and fell and rolled around and laid there. I was kind of shocked I just won.”
Dunlap won that race — the only individual gold of his career — by four-hundredths of a second. Eighteen minutes later, he was back in the blocks for the 200, placing third to seal the second Division III team title in school history.
But before he could celebrate, Dunlap watched his teammate, Kyle Joynes, collapse down the stretch of the 3200.
“I forgot we won state,” Dunlap said. “I was sitting with him and he’s apologizing to me, saying, ‘I screwed everything up.’ I’m crying, he’s crying, everyone’s crying.
“And I’m like, ‘You didn’t screw anything up. We still won state.’”
The win was even more satisfying considering the Blue Devils had finished one point short of a regional title the previous week.
Dunlap’s state championship was the school’s 58th in track, while the team title was the school’s second after the 1999 crown.
Dunlap’s talent and versatility — he won an indoor state title in the long jump, then dropped it for the outdoor season — caught the eye of Kent State’s coaches, who plan to turn him into a decathlete.
His mom likes his athletic choice. She’s not as keen on his academic one.
“Right now, I’m planning to major in criminal justice and my mom isn’t too happy with that one,” he said, smiling. “We’ll see how it goes.”