Preston Amerman photo

Preston Amerman.

Season opener, 2:13

Preston Amerman’s first 800 of the season was full of competitive fire, as the Clearwater Valley senior staked out a position ahead of all comers March 20 at Lapwai. He had come into the season in shape from basketball last winter and cross-country last fall. He pushed his times further down: 2:09, then 2:05, all the way to 2:03 by May 1.

Others across 1A Idaho showed similar speed, and similar improvement. The runners he’ll face at state have times ranging barely more than two minutes flat on up to just shy of 2:10. The fast end has been about as quick as he is.

Until last Saturday.

District Final, 1:59.63

With that, Amerman crossed a threshold unmatched in the classification this year, and he’ll be the top seed in the 800 meter final in Middleton.

“I just saw how fast I was getting in cross-country,” he said. “I started working really hard in the off-season, and that first meet, I saw how fast I was. That gave me hope that I could be a really fast runner. I made the decision to keep training, and I pushed harder than I’ve ever pushed before.”

The only one of his events that he did not win during that first meet was the 1600, and during the district final, he ran a spectacular race down the home stretch, pulling ahead of Timberline’s Carson Sellers in the end.

“I ran a super hard 800,” he said, “so I was just racing the 1600 to win.”

Field event state finals start at 9 a.m. MT Friday at Middleton, with the 3,200 that morning and the medley relay that afternoon.

Most track finals will be run Saturday afternoon.