Crew helps Mauri cruise to second in D-I 3200
The Howland High School junior has always been a driven runner, spending Sundays around Twinsburg with some of the best distance athletes northeast Ohio has to offer.
Mauri is the best in the Mahoning Valley, there is no question. He was this year’s 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter champion at the Trumbull County meet, leading the Tigers to the team title once again.
Saturday, it was about him, a solitary distance runner — Mauri against the state’s best.
As he glanced over, seeing those pockets of orange, he shed a couple of tears after he gutted out the best Division I 3200 run of his career, a second-place finish in 9:04.59.
“Honestly, it was the best thing I’ve ever seen,” Mauri said. “So many people would come and support me. I’ve never had that. My whole team doesn’t even really watch me now.
“People I love are driving three hours away, my best friends, family. It just means so much to me.”
Saturday, his distance running soul was tested, starting with the first of eight laps.
Lakota East’s Dustin Horter, who had run a 4:06.25 to win the 1600, finished third in the 3200 and pushed Mauri, who ran a 9:05.88, to the outer limits of his training.
“I’ve never felt a race like it,” Mauri said. “Our first lap is the fastest I’ve ever gone out. It felt like one of the slowest. Knowing there are so many fast people out there and someone who ran 4:06 in the mile right next to me is astounding.”
Senior Matt Scrape, who Mauri patted on the shoulder in congratulations on the podium, pulled away from the Howland senior with a 9:02.01.
Scrape celebrated, collapsing his hands as he finished the race. Shear exhaustion overcame Mauri as he dropped to the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium track after finishing.
“It felt like there were 30 pounds on each of my legs,” Mauri said. “It’s the last race, the 3200, this year. I might as well give it my best shot, try to catch Scrape or die trying.”
The only other time the Howland junior has collapsed is when he had to run four races to get his team a victory, something the Tigers did quite often.
“That was half as hard as this,” Mauri said. “I’ve never gone through as much pain as I did today.”
He hopes to come back next year with familiar faces like Hudson junior Adam Beucler, who was fourth and Amherst Steele’s Josh Hill, sixth.
It gives hope for Mauri to try once again for a state championship in one of the best races the Howland junior has ever run.
“Today, I don’t know what came over me,” he said. “I went as hard as I could for as long as I could. I finished it off with a good race.”