LOUISVILLE — For 25 years, teams have been going after the Boyle County boys 400-meter relay school record time of 44.44 seconds set in 1987.
It finally went down Friday.
The team of Lloyd Hall, Tommy Hastings, Nick Love and Cody Coffey not only broke the school record, they did it in 43.87 seconds to win the event at the Class AA State Track and Field Championships.
“We’ve been working hard all year, and we finally got our handoffs down about two weeks ago. We’d been working on our times,”¿said Hall, who ran the first leg. “We were just shooting for the school record. We didn’t really care what place we came in. We started running and we all ran a great race. I don’t know if we could do it again, but we’ll take it.”
But the Rebels don’t have to after Coffey held off Hopkinsville’s Robert Bell to give the team the record and state title.
“I just saw him in front of me and I just couldn’t let him beat me I guess,”¿Coffey said. “I’m just too competitive.”
Boyle came into the race seeded third behind Paducah Tilghman and Russell County. But the Rebels got a fast start from Hall, then Hastings kept Boyle in it before handing off to Love and watching the record-setting finish unfold.
“Whenever I gave the baton off, I started walking across the field to get to the finish line. It looked from my angle that we had third and I looked up and we were at the top, and I was just blown away,”¿Hastings said. “That kills our school record by over half a second. I was really surprised by that.”
Love said he knew he had to keep his team close to give Coffey a chance.
“Tommy came in, we were little behind and I got it (the baton) and took off and never looked back. I got us into first and when I gave it to Cody I knew we were going to win it,” he said. “I didn’t think we were going to get the school record because we’d been trying all year for that and it is hard. Running a 43 is ridiculous.”
Also for Boyle, Cody Cooper tied his personal-best in the high jump and tied for fifth with an effort of 6 feet.
“I got it on my last jump. I knew I could get it. My second try was just a bad jump, but my third jump I was confident I could get it,”¿Cooper said. “Considering I was ranked 20th, it’s not bad.”