Senior runner breaks second school record
May 29, 2009
As Park City High School senior Cameron Edwards crossed the finish line of the 800-meter run at the state track and field championship two weeks ago, he met with mixed emotions.
On one hand, he was happy with his second-place finish; but on the other, he was disappointed that his high school running career would come to an end without breaking the 800-meter school record, which he was mere seconds from beating.
"I had a bad start," Edwards said about the finals. The race was also his fourth event in two days. He had competed in the 1600-meter run and finished fourth, taken 10th in the 3200-meter run, and contributed to a third-place finish for the Park City boys’ medley relay team.
He finished the 800 in 1:57.23, just 2.15 seconds behind the Park City High School record that was set by Brent Ryberg last year. Edwards is only the third student from PCHS to break the two-minute mark.
Edwards’ coaches recognized his ability and wanted to give him one last chance. "I knew he was capable and he was close, we just needed to set something up for him to have a shot to do it," said head coach Jeff Wyant.
Wyant explained that Edwards would have had a prime opportunity to break the record at the BYU Invitational in early May, but Park City decided to drop out of the competition due to swine-mania.
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So following what Edwards assumed was his last race of the season, Wyant and assistant coach Brad Osguthorpe told him that they were setting up a special race at East High School for the following week.
Last Tuesday, Edwards, Osguthorpe, Wyant and teammate Kenny Holt gathered at the track for an impromptu meet. Osguthorpe, who graduated from PCHS in 2002, was actually the first person to break the two-minute mark at the high school and set the record at 1.55.10 as a senior.
"I’m really glad we have Brad with us," said Edwards. "He runs with us a lot, and he’s been really good for pacing us."
As the threesome took off, Osguthorpe’s pacing may have given Edwards the extra push he needed. Edwards crossed the finish line in 1:54.30, eight-tenths of a second faster than the current school record.
As long as the race is timed and verified by a coach, a record-breaking run does not have to take place during a competition, Edwards explained.
"Wyant wanted to see me do it and I wanted to do it," he said. "It feels pretty cool."
The run was not the first time Edwards has shattered a school record; he broke the cross-county record in the 3A state championships last fall, helping to lead the boys’ team to a first-place finish.
Edwards says that he really tried to focus on improving his time in the 800 this season. His fastest time last year was 2:02. "My goal was to break two minutes," he said. "I did that, and then I just kept going."
"I think this year the 800 turned out to be his strongest event," said Wyant. "He’s very good at the mile, too, and I think he could do some damage at that at the next level."
Edwards will attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado next year, where he will compete on both the track and cross-country teams. He is scheduled to begin boot-camp training at the end of June and says he is looking forward to new experiences. "I think it will be a lot of fun," he said.
Edwards may be graduating from Park City High in a couple weeks, but his legacy won’t be forgotten. The two-time state cross-country MVP, two-time school record breaker and two-year cross-country captain has definitely made an imprint, both on and off the track.
Aside from his accomplishments as a runner, Edwards is a talented pianist and played with the high school’s Varsity Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble for several years. He has also earned a high brown belt in Kwon Shu, a style of martial art that incorporates techniques from many different traditions.
Edwards’ days of competing with the Miners may be over, but don’t expect him to disappear from the running radar anytime soon. If training in two feet of snow in the dead of a Park City winter hasn’t stopped him from running, it’s safe to say there’s not much that will.