CORTLAND - Howland senior Dave Nelson and John F. Kennedy senior Mike Perisa were the only two Trumbull County runners to break the 2 minute mark in the 800-meter run this season.
Both run around 1:58. Nelson set his time at the May 2 Optimist Meet in Austintown, while Perisa's time was set at the April 25 Poland Invitational.
Thursday in the Trumbull County Track and Field Meet finals Nelson finished second (1 minutes, 56.71 seconds), while Perisa was first in a time of 1:55.33 - a new meet and stadium record.
Nelson didn't think he could run less than 2 minutes this season.
"(May 2) a kid pushed me and I just went after him. It was a pretty good race, but I felt I could've done better," he said.
Teammate Aaron Sutton, a senior, said Nelson is an asset in the 3,200 relay.
"It's good. If he's losing to somebody in the 4x800 and we've got 200 meters to go, it's pretty much a win," Sutton said. "He's going to kick 'em down. He's amazing. We always count on it. We're waiting for it. We've got a lot of confidence in him for the 4x800 team and the 800 itself."
Nelson tries to teach the kick to Sutton.
"Whenever he's racing, I tell him to keep the pace," Nelson said. "You've got to stick it in until the end. That last 100-150 meters I have this kick. That's when I get that last momentum in."
Sutton appreciates the help.
"He's a really helpful guy to have around with the pacing, warmup and knowing what to do. We can always count on him to help out with our team," Sutton said.
Nelson decorates his one ear with a couple earings. Ohio track and field officials really crack down on jewelry and other loose items hanging from the body when running.
"I keep the top one in a little before my race because I just got it done. I know they've got to come out," Nelson said.
He also has a tattoo in script of his last name going down the right side from his armpit to his waist.
"Gotta look good somehow," Nelson said.
He plans to look good and win a second straight conference title in the 800.
"I ran a 2:04 and won MAC (Metro Athletic Conference). This year, it should be alright," Nelson said.
Overall, he's an asset to the Tigers track team.
"He cheers me on. I think he helps everyone on the team with their kick and helps us run a good race," Sutton said.