An adjustment with his running technique and some good competition helped Middleburgh junior Kaurice Bell set a school record in the 100-meter dash Tuesday in a Western Athletic Conference dual meet at Berne-Knox-Westerlo.
Bell popped a hand-held 10.9 to beat the school record of 11.1 that he shared with Kirk West. West ran his time back in 1991, and Bell equaled it last week in a meet with Duanesburg.
“I was so excited, and in a little bit of disbelief,” the 17-year-old Bell said. “Now I get to have my name on the board all alone.”
Middleburgh coach Joel Bramer sensed that Tuesday could be a special day for Bell, for a couple of reasons.
“I knew Berne-Knox-Westerlo had a kid who had some wheels, and I felt if he [Bell] had a kid breathing down his neck, it would help,” Bramer said. “I told him, ‘You’re going to have to put on the after-burners.’”
Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s Stavros Lefkaditis was the kid with the wheels, and he finished second in the race (11.8) after a brief chat with Bell at the starting line.
“He asked me what my best time was and I said 11.1. He said it was a good time, but he didn’t believe me. That got me fired up,” Bell said. “When we got in the blocks I was thinking I’m going to show him.”
Bell said he had a good start, and he ran straight to the finish line without veering off.
“We talked about drifting to his left. When we looked at video of him running against Duanesburg, that’s what he did,” Bramer said. “I told him, “If you keep a straight path I think it’s going to help you.’”
“Drifting is probably why I didn’t get the record that day,” Bell said of his run in the meet with Duanesburg. “At Berne-Knox, I sort of coached myself before the race.”
Bell, who also plays basketball and soccer for Middleburgh, knew he was having a good race about halfway through.
“I’m thinking I have a chance at this [school record], and I drove to the end,” he said. “About 20 seconds after I finished, my coach is yelling that I did it and he gave me a big hug. It was great.”
“It had been in the air all week,” Bramer said. “He tied it last week against Duanesburg with his 11.1. He had an 11.2 and an 11.4. He was landing all around it.”
Bell also won and set personal bests in the 200 (23.1) and high jump (6-0), and anchored a first-place 400 relay group that also turned in its fastest time (49.2).
“I haven’t lost any of my events,” Bell said. “I’m hoping to keep that clean sheet through the sectionals.”