Boys tracy state finals: Marsalis Gibson wins Bowman’s first individual state title
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent May 31, 2013 9:42PM
Bowman Academy's Marsalis Gibson competes in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles during the IHSAA state finals in Bloomington Friday May 31, 2013. | Aaron P. Bernstein~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2013 8:13AM
BLOOMINGTON — Bowman junior Marsalis Gibson struggled to physically finish his second event at the IHSAA boys track and field state finals on Friday.
It will be a distant memory after what Gibson did in his first event, winning a state championship in the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.19 seconds.
He entered with the 11th-fastest seed time and had been dealing with a hip/groin injury during the postseason.
He left as Bowman’s first individual state champion in track and field.
“It means I can represent my community in a good way and I hope to continue to do that in the future,” Gibson said.
Gibson felt his best opportunity to place high was in the 300-meter hurdles, in which he was seeded fifth. He entered the state finals as a sectional and regional champion in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Bowman coach Ron Swain consistently had been telling Gibson all week that he could compete for a championship in the 110 hurdles.
“He was kind of worried about his time, but I told him he was doing well each meet and doing better,” Swain said. “I told him when he got down here he would run up to his competition, which he did.
“He had been running all year and he had some good quality meets we were at and I knew with the training he had and the hard work he put in that when he got down here he could get the job done.”
Gibson said his groin and hip began to bother him after the Highland Sectional, but “it didn’t get this painful until after regional.”
Once he crossed the finish line in the 110-meter hurdles Gibson knew he had aggravated his injury.
“I tried to ice it afterwards and stretch it out but unfortunately it didn’t work out,” Gibson said.
While he initially had thoughts of sitting out the 300-meter hurdles, Bowman coaches convinced Gibson to do something he realized himself — compete in the event injured.
Gibson was clearly bothered by his injury as he gingerly ran the race, finishing 26th in 47.12 seconds, nine seconds slower than his qualifying time.
“We thought by him being loose he could go in the 300 hurdles, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Swain said.
Bowman senior Jalen Knight finished ninth in the 400 meters in 49.31 seconds.
“Placing in state is a very big honor and I’m proud to represent my region, my family, my school and friends,” Knight said. “I tried my best to run with the (lead group) and in my mind I was thinking I could still push to keep up with them.”
Gibson and Knight helped Bowman finish tied for 20th with 11 points, the same amount as Carmel and Penn.