Garrett Marsing, second from right, tries to get out to a fast start during the start of the 3200 meter race on Saturday afternoon. Marsing capped off a spectacular high school career with two state championships in the 1600 and 3200 meter races.
Garrett Marsing was all smiles as he stood atop the podium after winning the 3200 meter championship in 3A on Saturday afternoon in Provo.
Senior leaves indelible mark on record books in four years at CHS
After already winning a gold medal in the 1600 meter finals on Friday, Garrett Marsing prepared for his shot at a runner's equivalent of the triple crown at the Utah State Track and Field State Meet last Saturday.
To achieve this feat, Marsing would need to best some of the state's best runners in the 3200 and 800 meters races and would need to do so in front of a packed house at Brigham Young University.
Marsing's attempt began with the 3200, an event which requires great concentration and discipline but also the competitive spirt to give a little more when it counts.
"I knew I had to start my kick or I was never going to catch that kid," said Marsing, when asked about the lead Joshua Thatcher of Desert Hills had amassed with two laps to go. "At the 600 marker, I made my move. It seemed like everyone was waiting for me to go and I was just running with the pack. That happens sometimes."
In the blink of an eye, Marsing erased the lead Thatcher had built up and began pulling away himself, winning the race by nearly three seconds with a time of 9:46.10.
"Nobody was running for time in that race," explained Marsing. "It was a slow run. Like me, I think a lot of the other competitors had additional races to run that day."
As the runners congratulated each other following the event, Marsing was gracious, letting the younger racers know that their time would come. As he took a seat, he looked over to his coach and said, "just the 800 left now."
Carbon High Head Coach Jimmy Jewkes said many coaches at the event came up to him and mentioned how good of a person Garrett is both on and off the track. But that news is not new to Jewkes, who has been able to see that on a consistent basis over the past few years.
"That's just who Garrett is as an athlete and as a person," said Jewkes.
According the Carbon senior, the 800 meters is his favorite race to run. Even though he is considered a medium distance runner by track standards, he loves to sprint.
"The kick at the end of a race is my favorite part of running," he said. "It's great when everyone turns it on and gives it all they have going to the finish."
Marsing would have to wait more than three hours before his last and favorite race, the 800. And while the anticipation that accompanies any state championship race brings adrenaline of its own, the Carbon Senior was visibly drained by nearly 48 hours of competition.
In addition to the three individual races Marsing ran at BYU, he also helped Carbon get on podium in the 4X800 Medley Relay.
Because of the peak condition these runners display, the 800 meters is nothing more than a long sprint. The runners do give a kick as the race ends, but there isn't the pack that settles during a 1600 or 3200 meter run, everybody is going all out from the start.
Saturday's race was no different as Marsing and Cedar High's Bryan Pearson battled it out from the gun.
Pearson bested Marsing by less than two tenths of a second, and even though it was his last high school race, the Carbon senior was all smiles.
"I'm a little bummed, I really wanted that triple crown but I know there will be other races." said Marsing, who plans to run track in college. "Pearson ran a great race and I bested by seated time so I feel good."
Watching Marsing, his quality as an individual is as apparent as his talent when running. Following the 800 meter race he stopped for several minutes and consoled a competitor who was disappointed by his time.
Jewkes said Marsing had made a name for himself in the school record books over the past two years and finished off his high school career with a top performance at the State Meet.
At the State Meet alone, Marsing finished with two individual championships, three school records and walked away with medals of all colors.
"That was the best performance at a State Meet that I've seen," said Jewkes. "Garrett just rewrote a lot of the school long distance records. It's incredible that one athlete can do that."
Marsing plans to serve a mission for the LDS church in Russia before attending college. And while he has yet to decide just where he will go, his parents have already sent children to BYU and he spoke highly of the Provo school. Regardless of where he goes, the institution will gain every bit as much as they gives.