Northeast duo gearing up for last District IV championship meet
For the past four years Northeast Bradford's Sam Williams and Curt Jewett have been attached at the hip.
Or it may seem that way.
The two have been running together since they were in the eighth grade, both cross-country and track and field, and have both had roughly the same amount of success.
In cross-country they both medaled at states for the first time as sophomores, medaled again as juniors and finished in the top five at states.
In track and field they both qualified for states in the 3200 as sophomores with Williams taking fourth at states. As juniors they both medaled in their individual events, Williams in the 3200 and Jewett in the 1600.
They both won district titles last year in track and field but are looking for more than that this year. This year they want to etch their names in the district record books together.
Williams is expecting to go under the 3200 record of 9:27.55 while Jewett is prime to beat the 1600 record of 4:14.13.
"It's so cool," Williams remarked. "That's kind of one of those things you've been thinking about and eyeing since you were freshman. It's really exciting to have the chance to do it at the same time as your teammate in two different races and share that with somebody else. It will be close but it will be fun."
Both are doing three events today. Williams will be doing the 4x800 relay, the 1600 and the 3200 while Jewett will be doing the 4x800, 1600 and 800.
Jewett remembers how he got Williams to start running.
"He moved here in sixth grade and he was kind of with the soccer guys," Jewett explained. "I said you should really try cross-country. Now look at him."
That is where their brotherly friendship started.
"We're doing amazing," Jewett said. "The past five years have been amazing. I'm really glad we've got each other motivated and into it."
Like any relationship it hasn't always been fun.
"We've had our ups and downs," Williams admitted. "It's really fun to have somebody to train with and have somebody to push you on a daily basis and in races but I mean it can also be really frustrating when you're going back and forth everyday."
But they know without the other neither of them would have likely gotten this far.
"Curt's been great and we've had a lot of fun and definitely pushed each other to be faster," Willliams said.
They've also liked sharing the limelight of the past four years.
"We just shift back and forth," Jewett explained. "There's no real competition between the two of us."
"It's double the awesome," added Williams. "It's twice as much fun to have somebody on your team right there next to you."
ATHENS' PANE, TROY'S PURCELL TO BATTLE AGAIN AT DISTRICTS
For most of the dual meet season Athens' Nick Pane and Troy's Josh Purcell were alone at the finish line in the 110 hurdles.
Then three weeks ago in their final dual meet they met for the first time and Purcell edged out Pane.
Then last week at the NTL Championships they met again with Pane getting the win.
And today they are seeded 1-2 in the 110 hurdles with the District IV title on the line.
Both believe they are at the top of their game.
"I'm feeling great," Pane said. "I've been doing this sport for six years."
"I feel good," added Purcell. "It's been a good season."
The two of them have been enjoying the past couple weeks as much as hurdles have enjoyed watching them.
"I love the competition," Pane remarked. "I just love everything about this sport."
Last week they both had their best times going under 15 seconds for the first time.
"It's rough," Purcell said about racing Pane. "You just have to go with him."
Purcell is hoping to get back under 15 seconds and earn a trip to states.
"Probably just dragging my foot through," he said about what he worked on this week. "Get it down quick."
As for Pane he's got more than one goal at districts.
"I'm shooting for my brother's record," he said. "He ran a 14.74 so I'm trying to get a 14.73 at least."
Being a senior Pane also wants to be able to perform on the state's biggest stage.
"I would really like to basically show everybody what I can do," he said.
As for Purcell he's enjoyed these last couple of weeks running against him.
"It feels great to have someone right up there running with me," Pane said. "It's a friendly competition. It's just a great feeling. My hat is tipped off to him, he's a good runner and he's still got one more year left. I wish him the best."
WELLSBORO'S JACKSON READY TO PEAK AT THE RIGHT TIME
Two year's ago Jackson won the 1600 District IV title. Last year he looked strong enough to contend for two District IV titles but came up empty handed.
In his senior year Jackson wants to get back up on top of that podium.
For most of the season Jackson hasn't been at his best.
"I had an injury towards the beginning of the season," he explained. "But I'm fully recovered from that and I'm really confident going into districts."
The two past two seasons he's been an 800-1600 runner, having medaled in both at states during his career. But this year something new has caught his attention.
"I'm going to mainly focus on the 800," Jackson said. "I'm still indecisive about the 400 or 1600."
He ran a personal best in the 400 at the NTL Championships which has got him thinking of doing it over the mile.
"Honestly it's 50/50," Jackson remarked.
As for the 800 he's 1005 all in.
"I want to PR so hopefully around low 1:57, maybe 1:56," Jackson said about his goal.
He's been doing quite a few more 400s this season to help get his 800 time down.
"That's part of my training to work towards the end of the season," Jackson explained. "Doing a lot of 400s to get my speed."
He's also enjoyed the success of his friend and training partner Bobby Hill. Both of them made states in cross-country and they would like to do the same thing in track.
"It's a pleasure to see him improve so much," Jackson said. "And to see him have so much success in the 800 and the mile. I'm so happy for him."