Bronson Luksza suffered some scrapes and bruises.

And then he had to run again later in the day.

It was a crazy evening for the Cuyahoga Falls' junior, who competed at the Austintown-Fitch Division I regional meet, which concluded May 26.

To say Luksza had a bizarre day would be an understatement.

Things started out OK.

The Black Tiger junior was cruising along in the 1,600-meter race and was in the hunt to finish in the top four.

And then everything came crashing down -- literally.

"The Solon kid, who was in the lead, back-kicked or tripped and the kid fell behind him," Falls head coach Dieter Keller said. "Half the field fell over him."

Luksza was in sixth place at the time with one lap to go when he noticed bodies all over the place.

Luksza knew he had to improvise if he was going to avoid taking a spill himself. He almost did.

"Bronson tried to hurdle the kid in front of him, but he went down," Keller said. "He got back up and finished the race."

Due to the massive pile-up that looked more like a crash at a NASCAR race than a 1,600 race, several coaches protested the finish.

As a result, the officials decided the 1,600 had to be run again after all of the events were completed.

"They had to run the tiebreaker for four fourth place and then there was a 20-minute break and then they ran the mile," Keller said.

"Bronson had a legitimate shot in the first race. The last lap was crazy fast. I'm not sure if he would have qualified. It was just a strange atmosphere."

Luksza ended up finishing 13th in the second race with a time of 4 minutes, 43.33 seconds. The top four athletes advanced to the state meet and the top eight athletes scored team points.

"He ran pretty solid in the second race," Keller said. "About three, 3-1/2 laps in, he started to fizzle. He basically said, 'I'm tired.' He had some bumps and bruises from the first race. He said it didn't affect him at all. He didn't have anything left."

Keller was pleased with Luksza performances throughout the season. Next year, Keller believes Luksza and one of his talented teammates have a chance to reach the state competition.

"Bronson had a great season," Keller said. "He told me he couldn't wait until next year because there will be two of us running this race next year.

"[Freshman] Jack Wilcoxson has been pushing him all season. He knows Jack will be right there. I've had a lot of parents and coaches tell me they're excited to see the next few years."

Junior concludes stellar season

Luksza wasn't the only Falls' athlete to compete in Austintown.

On the girls' side, junior Kayla Huffman, who qualified for the Division I state cross country meet during the fall, ended her season with a 14th-place time of 2:27.29 in the 800.

"It was a very good field," said Dan Scourfield, who is the Lady Black Tigers head track and field coach and head cross country coach. "She was ready to go. It just didn't work out the way she wanted it to."

Scourfield believes Huffman has the kind of talent and drive to reach the next level in 2018.

"She has continued to develop as a distance runner," he said. "She has tremendous range. She can run the 200 all the way up to the 5K."

Since Huffman had high expectations of herself, she was not satisfied with her last race, according to Scourfield.

"She was disappointed," he said. "I told her I was proud of her. She had a tremendous season. You can't let one race define your year."


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