By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
Robert Grider etched his name in the Rams track and field record book Wednesday.
The senior sprinter broke the 200 meter school record and tied the 100 meter mark in Mt. Vernon's win over Marion, Salem and Carbondale.
“I feel extremely grateful first off,” Grider said. “Not only to my team and the program as a whole because they pushed me to get better. Honestly, I didn't think I was going to come out and have that good of a day.”
Grider ran the 200 meters in a time of 21.5 seconds. The mark broke Troy Heitmeyer's record from 1984. Grider ran the 100 meters in a time of 10.6 seconds.
"I've practiced, and I've sweat and honestly I've probably bled on that track a few times,” Grider said. “And to come here and represent the hard work I've put on the track in front of my friends and family of course and just I'll never forget it was at my home and that's where I performed my best at.”
Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner said Grider has worked hard getting better starts out of the blocks in the sprint events.
“He's improved his flexibility, and he's just worked at it,” Turner said. “And it's really starting to play off for him. We really saw it on the indoor season with his short races there.”
Mt. Vernon finished with 94 points. Other team scores were: Carbondale 66, Salem 55 and Marion 40. The Rams finished with eight first-place finishers in the 18-event meet.
“I'm happy with where we're at right now,” Turner said. “We definitely have a lot of room to improve, and we have to improve on some things.”
Other first-place finishers for the Rams were: David Modert in the 3,200 meters (9:59.66); the 400 meter relay team (44.30 seconds); Ethan Badger in the 800 meters (2:08.73); Brykell Patton in the 110 meter high hurdles (15.51 seconds); Demontez Miller-Grey in the 400 meters (52.15 seconds); and Patton in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles (41.16 seconds).
Second-place finishers were: the 3,200 meter relay team (8:41.93); Daniel Flood in the 800 meters (2:09.83); the 800 meter relay team (1:33.61); David Modert in the 1,600 meters (4:38.85); Joseph McDanel in the pole vault (12 feet, 6 inches); and the 1,600 meter relay team (3:34.27).