COLUMBUS - This article is sponsored by the number two.
Maplewood High School senior Wyatt Hartman would've preferred one.
McDonald junior Bobby Johnson couldn't be happier with the selection.
Hartman took second to Springfield Emmanuel Christian Academy senior Wes Haney in the Division III boys 800-meter run.
It was Hartman's fifth second-place finish at the state track and field meet during his career - two in the 800, two as part of 4x800 relays and another in the 1,600.
Haney ran 1 minute, 53.74 seconds to Hartman's 1:54.22 - a personal best mark for the Rockets senior.
"Afterward I was disappointed because that gold was in sight," Hartman said. "It seems I've missed it by three-tenths or less a handful of times. A minute after my race, I looked back and I have a lot to be thankful for. My high school career, I've accomplished some great things. I couldn't ask for a better race today. I ran my best. I felt good. I just didn't quite have it at the end. I was really happy with how I performed."
Johnson, meanwhile, knew winning state was a bit far-fetched with a prolific runner like Independence's Kyle Polman, who shattered a Division III state meet record by running 9:12.01. The old mark was 9:16.29.
Running 9:24.37 for second place didn't faze Johnson in the least.
"Coming in I knew he was going to run a great race," Johnson said. "Top two is my ultimate goal. I'm blessed to be second. I'm not upset at not getting first. It's definitely a goal for next year."
During the 1,600, McDonald senior Patrick Kunkel knew he had to pace St. Thomas Aquinas' Cory Glines the best he could. Kunkel, who will run at the University of San Francisco next season, and Tri-Village's Clayton Murphy stayed with Glines, the 2012 Division III 1,600 state champion.
Kunkel was 5 to 10 meters behind the two-man pack of Glines and Murphy heading into the final of four laps. Murphy passed Glines, who led most of the race, in the final 100 meters to take the title in a state meet record of 4:11.72. Glines (4:11.83) and Kunkel (4:13.02) followed.
The top eight in each final are all-Ohio.
"The first two laps, (Glines) brings it out with a fast, steady pace," said Kunkel, who took fourth in the 800 (1:55.56). "The third lap, he just goes there. He did. The last 400, he goes even harder. Me and Clayton Murphy went with him.
"I did give a little surge. I thought I should've been up there a little sooner. It is what it is. It's a school record."
South Range senior Andrew O'Leary set a regional record in the Division II 400 last week at Navarre Fairless High school (48.11). Winning a state title was within his grasp.
However, defending state champion Sherwood Fairview's Matt Tobin had other ideas, beating out the Raiders senior 47.63 to 48.68.
"I ran the first 300 how I wanted to," O'Leary said. "I just couldn't hang on for the last 100 meters. It's disappointing because I ran a half-second slower than last week. Kind of a disappointing day.
"I've been ahead of him all year. I was hoping this year was my year."
O'Leary's teammate, Tim Nichols, who took third in the 3,200 (9:24.50), tried to follow Johnson.
"Basically I tried to stay with Bobby for the most part," Nichols said. "I tried to stick with Bobby and race with him the rest of the way through."
As for Hartman, he realized five second-place finishes equaled an outstanding career at Maplewood - especially when he briefly led Saturday's 800 with 50 meters to go.
"I had a bunch of memories flowing through my head, 4x800 freshman year, losing. Yesterday (in the 4x800)," Hartman said. "There were so many times I just got outkicked. I pumped my arms. I thought I gave it my all. That's all I can ask for today. He came up on me at the end. I knew as soon as he got past me, I didn't have time to respond. I feel like that was a good finish to my high school career."