Dirigo senior Hunter White knows how to give them what they want but also leave them wanting more.

“I started track in seventh grade,” he said last week, “and I wanted to do the 400 just because I wanted people to see me for a long time but not too long.

“The 100’s too short, 200 seemed a little useless because most of it was on the backstretch, nobody could see me, but everybody could see me run all the way around (in the 400).”

White won the MVC title in the 400-meter run, and takes the second seed into Saturday’s Class C state championships at Foxcroft Academy. He’s also seeded fourth in the 200, and third in the long and triple jumps.

But the 400, that’s his race, his somewhat bittersweet muse.

“You gotta have guts. It’s seriously pretty close to a full sprint all the way around. You’ve got a float phase through the back, but you’re still going 95 percent through the float phase.

“It’s seriously just guts, and you need to want to race. It’s seriously just a terrible race, but you’ve to to love it at the same time.”

Another thing about the 400: it helps to be pushed. White said he was pushed at the MVC championships by Lisbon Kurtis Bolton and Mountain Valley’s Kyle Farrar.

He’ll be pushed again by Washington Academy’s Michaiah Robinson. And White will push back.

Robinson is the defending Class C champion in the 400 (and in the 200). His seeding time of 50.60 is 1.43 seconds faster than White’s 52.03. The two had a similar gap last year, but White hung with him only lost by eight-tenths of a second. In between MVCs and the state meet, he dropped two seconds off his time.

“It only brings out the best in you,” White said. “He’s running a 50 again this year; I haven’t quite gotten a 50, but I’m thinking I can stick with him.”

White said the 400 has grown on him in the six years that’s he’s been running it. But it hasn’t gotten any easier.

“It definitely still hurts,” he said. “Your legs feel like Jello, your stomach’s turning, you never know if you’re going to puke or not after, head’s pounding, arms are just wet noodles. It’s really quite a feeling.

“It just gets worse and worse, honestly, because you keep on going faster and faster.”


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