Jesuit star can't defend title

Senior Hunter Clasen stops early in the 400 meters, bothered by a muscle strain.

Published April 29, 2007

Most evenings like this, Hunter Clasen would have been wearing running shoes and a look of determination as he strode to the track for the 400 meters.

But as the Jesuit senior milled around his lane at the Class 2A state championship Saturday, his usual garb had been replaced by basketball shorts and glasses.

After the starter's gun went off, Clasen jogged a couple of strides, then tiptoed off the track to watch the rest of the race from the infield.

"It didn't feel right, " he said later.

It wasn't: A hip flexor strain suffered last week at the Class 2A, Region 3 meet prevented the 2006 state champion from defending his title.

But as he gathered his belongings and walked out of Showalter Field, he put things in perspective with a smile.

"I can't ask for too much, " said Clasen, who will attend Georgia Tech on a track scholarship. "I had a perfect season. I've already been pretty blessed."

With Clasen sidelined, Jesuit's dream of a team state title was dashed, but the school still got an impressive performance from sophomore Connor Revord, who placed second in the 1, 600-meter run with a time of 4 minutes, 17.09 seconds.

Revord, the county's highest finisher at the meet, had the misfortune of running against Tallahassee Godby's Joseph Franklin, whose winning time of 4:08.84 was one of two state records set during the day South Lake junior Jeff Demps' 10.37 in the 100 meters was the other.

"Obviously, getting beat by a state record isn't bad, " said Revord, who also finished 16th in the 3, 200 meters and was part of Jesuit's 4x800-meter relay team that finished eighth.

Other county medalists included Jesuit junior John Ervin, who placed sixth in the discus (144 feet, 0.75 inches), Berkeley sophomore Page Price, who finished seventh in the 1, 600 (5:13.31), Holy Names senior Lauren Pacetti, who finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (46.38), and Robinson's 4x800 team, which finished fifth (8:09.36).

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1407.