CORTLAND - At first, Lakeview senior Christopher Edie didn't believe his teammates when they explained the importance of him placing high in the 3,200-meter race.
The Bulldogs led Streetsboro by less than two points, 99.5 to 98, heading into the second-to-last race of the Division II district meet at Don Richards Stadium, and with Edie expected to finish high, he could potentially clinch the program's first team district title since winning four straight from 2008-2011.
Edie said he thought they were joking.
"The guys came up to me when I was in the bullpen," Edie said. " 'We need you to win this one - we're winning by one point. We need points. We need you to run your best' no matter what I had."
It wasn't until after the race that Edie realized just how serious they were, and perhaps that was a good thing, as the senior set a new personal record by 4 seconds in the 2-mile and won the event with a time of 10:07.84.
More importantly, though, Edie and fellow senior Aaron Lamer, who finished in sixth place with a time of 10:40.9, put Lakeview's point total out of reach and earned the Bulldogs the district crown. They beat Streetsboro, 114.5-104.
"Those guys knew from earlier in the week, where we talked about how the points could shake down and all that kind of thing, they knew they had to run fast," Lakeview coach Mark Swinning said. "Both of those guys ran the fastest they've ever ran, and that's a great job by those guys."
Although Lakeview held a 31-point advantage coming into the second day, Streetsboro constantly chipped into that thanks to a trio of sprinters - Dakari Carter, Prince Franklin and Daniel Sapp.
The trio accounted for 59 points in the sprinting events, and the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams, with the freshman Carter setting new meet records in the 100 (11.04) and the 200 (22.3), putting the Rockets right behind the Bulldogs.
"They have two sprinters that are incredible," Swinning said. "They just kept chipping away, 100, 400, 200 and in the relays and everything else. We knew we needed the 3,200-meter guys to do their thing, and they really pulled through for us."
With the 4x400 relay as the last event, that made the 3,200 extremely important for the Bulldogs. Edie said the plan was to hang in with Champion's Allen Sparks, a friend of his, for as long as he could.
When the leaders entered the final lap with Edie right there, Crestwood's Jake Ondash attempted to make a move, and Edie didn't let him go, instead pulling away over the final 200 meters to win the race.
"I saw the one kid in red - I don't know what school he's from - start kicking at the last lap, and I was like, 'I can't do this. I'm not letting this one beat me,' " Edie said. "So, I started going, and started speeding up.
"The last 200, I gave everything I had to kick it, finish, make sure no one could come back, retaliate ... I just came out with the win."
It capped off a big day for Edie personally as well. The senior also placed second and set another personal record in the 1,600, finishing with a time of 4:31.18.
Still, that team title means a lot to him.
"(I'm) extremely excited," Edie said. "That's a huge feat for our team. We all work hard, we all train together in order to do something like this. I'm so glad I was a good part of that."
NOTE: Hubbard's Matt Jones set a new meet record with a throw of 51 feet, 9 inches in the shot put, beating the previous record of 50-7.25 set last year by Andy Anderson of Garfield.