Winning three open events in a track meet is nothing new for Calob Larson. The Legacy senior has performed the feat twice at the state meet and on other occasions, as well.
But the way he did it on Thursday added a bit of panache.
Larson won the 60-, 400- and 200-meter dashes in a span of four running events at the Western Dakota Association boys indoor invite. He sped to a 6.96 in the 60 and ran the 400 in 48.93. He caught his breath while the 800 held sway on the University of Mary track and then turned in a 22.69 in the 200.
What made the amazing triple possible was the long-running 60-meter dash, which consisted of five varsity heats and nine junior varsity races.
Larson's pained expression as he approached the finish line in the 200 indicated he was running on fumes.
How many times had the talented Sabers sprinter won three events in such a small time frame previously?
"Never," he said without hesitation. "In past years (the WDA Indoor) has always been boys and girls together, so it was OK. There was so much time between events."
Larson said he knew when he stepped on the track for the 200 that he'd just have to gut the race out.
"I didn't feel too good when I lined up for the 200," he said.
In the 400, Larson dominated, opening a 15-meter lead by the halfway point. Not so in the 200.
"I saw another runner start gapping me, and I couldn't let that happen. ... I don't know, something inside me clicked. I shut off everything inside me that was telling me to give up and just went harder," he said.
Larson said he learned something about himself on Thursday.
"It's a mental thing. If you're not mentally strong you're not going to get anywhere, and today proved that to me," he observed.
Larson was meet's lone multiple-event winner.
Century and Legacy turned the meet into a two-horse race, winning six events apiece. Placing at least one man in every event, Century piled up 162 points for first place. Legacy was second with 138. Bismarck crept over the century mark with 101 points.
Jamestown, Mandan and St. Mary's rounded out the field with 40, 35 and 25 points, respectively.
Century won two relays and got open event wins from Brock Johnsen in the hurdles, Braden Brown in the high jump, Chance Bowlinger in the 800 and Caden Hight in the pole vault.
A relay and Larson's heroics accounted for four of Legacy's six first-place finishes. Matthew Alexis in the long jump and Zander Albers in the triple jump garnered the other two.
That left just two events up for grabs. Bismarck's Sean Korsmo won the 1,600 and Mandan's Jaxon Duttenhefer prevailed in the shot put.
Bismarck-Mandan athletes go outdoors for their next meet. The BPS Girls Invitational is scheduled April 9 at Bismarck State College, followed by the BPS Boys Invitational the next day.