NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 6, 2022) – One of the greatest races in the history of the Tuscarawas County Classic Track Meet took place Monday.
When it was over, two future division one collegiate runners broke four records and posted two of the three fastest times ever in the 1,600-meter race in the county.
Tuscarawas Central Catholic senior Jackson Triplett set meet, county, and school records in the 1,600 with a time of 4:16.1. That was only 1.29 seconds faster than New Philadelphia’s Owen Brady, who broke his own school’s record in 4:17.39.
Triplett is going to Xavier in the fall, and Brady is going to Youngstown State.
TCC Track Coach Adam Stilgenbauer says it was an all-time classic race at the Tuscarawas County Classic.
“It was probably one of the best mile races that I’ve personally ever seen,” he said. “Two boys who have ran against each other for years and pushed each other. It was just a great race watching those two really from the get-go. From the first meter to the 1,600th meter, it was just a phenomenal race.”
He says Triplett took the lead in the last 50 meters.
“I don’t know where he found it, but he made a move coming down the front stretch coming toward the finish line and he was able to hold on and got by Owen with about 50 meters to go and finished it out,” Stilgenbauer said. “There was no coaching involved in that. That’s all him. That was all mental there.”
Triplett wasn’t even planning to run in the county meet as he’d been dealing with hip and back issues. But he decided to give it a go after running 4:23 the Friday before.
“He loves to run. He loves to compete,” Stilgenbauer said. “I think we were both hoping for sub-4:20 because I think at the time only three other people in the county have ever done that… but I’m not sure if we saw 4:16.1 coming. That was great to see. I’ve always known he’s had that in him.”
Stilgenbauer says Triplett has worked hard for the last four tumultuous years, that included a canceled spring sports season during the pandemic.
“He’s always persevered through it,” Stilgenbauer said. “It’s not the workouts I prescribe. Any coach can give him workouts and he would have been successful. It’s just, I don’t know if I’ve ever met a more determined kid in my life.”
Triplett plans to run track and cross country at Xavier.
TCC will be at the IVC meet May 13, then districts start the week after that.