NAVARRE - Allan Coviello came down the straightaway, 40 meters from finishing his second of two laps around the track.
The McDonald senior came close to running an 800-meter time around 1:58.
Coviello, the second leg of the boys 4x800 relay, held the lead as the Blue Devils seemed on pace to shatter their best time of the season by about 20 seconds.
Then, a cap gun went off numerous times, signifying the Division III Navarre Fairless regional track and field meet was suspended Wednesday at 4:35 p.m.
Ohio High School Athletic Association meet officials spotted lightning followed by a loud boom of thunder. There were ominous skies hovering around Brideweser Stadium at Fairless High School, accompanied by a steady rain.
The rain and thunder were not factors, however when an OHSAA official spots lightning, the meet is mandated to be stopped for at least 30 minutes.
"I was actually really confused why the gun was going off," Coviello said. "I didn't find out there was lightning until a lot later. I was really excited to being doing so well for my team.
"I was having a great race, great day, so were the other guys behind me, of course. There were so much adrenaline. It was mind blowing."
The boys 4x800 had to be run again. On the restart at 5:45 p.m., Gilmour Academy took the early advantage with lead runner Alex Clapacs. Then, Paul-Henry Schoehagen, Alex Ulatowski and Brandon Phillips did the rest as the Lancers won in a time of 8:03.85.
Maplewood took second in a time of 8:07.38 with Jake Hall, Derek Morrison, Scott Rupe and Solomon Yoder running anchor.
"They led off with their best guys," Yoder said. "From the gun, they had the lead on us. Trying to run them down was difficult, but at the same time, it was fun trying to be able to catch somebody that was ahead of us."
The restart hurt Maplewood as well.
"It was pretty bad because our first guy, Jake Hall, ran a 1:59," Yoder said. "He really doesn't have the endurance to go out there and bust out another 1:59. I think we would've done it better if we would've run it straight."
Tuscarawas Central Catholic took third (8:13.72) and McDonald's Bobby Johnson, Coviello, Marco Mediati and David Natoli took fourth (8:15.01).
The top four in each final advance to next weekend's state meet in Columbus.
McDonald coach Lou Domitrovich said the meet officials made the right call, halting the meet, even though the Blue Devils were leading eventual champion Gilmour Academy.
"That's always a tough call," Domitrovich said. "The referee is right by saying the kids safety is the most important thing. It's just regrouping mentally and being able to step back out on the track. That's why we didn't change the order. Bobby and Allen, mentally, are our two team leaders, and they're capable of coming out there and doing it. Bobby ran a 1:58 the first time and came back with a 2:00 the second time. Allan would've gone 2 flat or faster the first time and came back with a 2:02. They're conditioned so well.
"We kind of thought we were capable of going fast today and I think we can go faster next week as well."
THROWING IN SOME LOCAL FLAVOR: McDonald's Christian Smith won the boys discus with a throw of 178 feet, 9 inches. Ursuline's Jonathan Neeley was second (164-5), Newton Falls Bucyrus Palo was third (163-8) and Maplewood's Stephen Pop took fourth (159-5).
McDONALD POWER DUO: McDonald's Jai'Lyn Mosley took first in the girls shot put (40-7.5), while teammate Tory Ross was third (39-6.75). Both Blue Devil seniors are heading to Kent State University next season.
JUMPING TO STATE: Mathews' Wyatt Ford took fourth in the boys long jump with a leap of 20-1.5.
OTHERS: McDonald's girls lead the team competition over St. Thomas Aquinas and Steubenville Catholic Central, 17 to 10. ... Gilmour Academy's boys lead with 20 points, over McDonald (15) and Maplewood (13). ... Both pole vault competitions will take place Friday, starting at 3 p.m. ... Friday's meet begins at 5 p.m. (other field events) and 6 p.m. (running). All events are finals. ... John F. Kennedy's boys and girls, along with the McDonald boys and girls, qualified numerous athletes to Friday's finals.