Casteel senior Dayton Carlson had himself a meet with a distance triple over the three days of the AIA Division 2 State Championship. Carlson came in with incredible credentials on the season with a 1:51.7 800m, 4:10 Mile, and 9:16 3200m over the course of a season, but he bettered two of these seasons best at the state championship on Thursday and Saturday.
Carlson's meet kicked off as the anchor leg of the Casteel 4x800m relay, which took 2nd in 7:59.66 to Millennium who ran 7:55.66 for the Division 2 win. On the same day, Carlson doubled back in the 3200m. He was the favorite coming in but did have a race under his belt on the day.
Carlson would battle with Terrence Keyes (Gilbert) and Ironwood Ridge teammates Logan Marek and Joel Gardner in the 3200m. Keyes would do his best to stick with Carlson, but over the final few laps you could see Carlson slowly picking up the pace while leading the field. Over the final 200m Carlson would establish a four-second gap between the two en route to his first title over the weekend. His time of 9:13 is good for a new AZ No. 2 mark.
Carlson would head back to Perry High School on Saturday with two events left, the 1600m and 800m. The 24 man field would break 100m into the race with Carlson taking the early lead. You can see state meet events end up as a tactical pace as the majority of the athletes will have other events or are focused on place rather than time. This wasn't the case as Carlson set the pace and would slow up or let anyone ahead of him throughout the race. He'd finish strong breaking the field a little beyond the 800m mark of the race and win in a new PR and AZ No. 1 mark of 4:08.07 just ahead of his personal best. Marek would run a personal best as well for 2nd clocking an impressive 4:12.39.
With just one event left, it just would come down to if Carlson had anything left in his legs for a 800m title. Teammate Joseph Meagher was the Casteel athlete to take the pace out this time. He lead the field through 400m with a slight gap ahead of a charging Carlson. From there Carlson picked up the pace and blew past his teammate at the 300m mark bringing the lead pack with him. Carlson flew around the track over the final lap cruising to a 1:52 mark. Possibly a more special moment for Carlson would be looking back and seeing teammate Meagher holding off the field running 1:55.81 for the Casteel 1-2 finish.
Race begins at 1:30
Powered by Carlson's 30 individual points and 8 points from the 4x800m, Casteel dominated the AIA Division 2 meet scoring 121 points to 2nd place finished Desert Mountain's 45.
Carlson is committed to run at Arizona State University in the fall.