Most of the members of the Brookhaven High School boys track and field team probably would prefer to forget what occurred last week.
Coach Marv Whiting hopes that at least some don't.
Although Whiting wouldn't go into specifics, some of his key athletes were suspended from competition from the finals of the Division I district 2 meet last Saturday at Dublin Coffman. Their absences sabotaged what could have been a strong finish for the Bearcats after they had qualified to the finals in the 400- and 800-meter relays.
Instead, junior Andrew Herrell's fourth-place finish in the 400 (52.44 seconds) ended up being the lone bright spot as Brookhaven scored seven points to place 15th behind champion Hilliard Darby (109.5).
"We had some issues and I had to suspend a couple guys," Whiting said. "Our (800 relay) had the fastest qualifying time, but we had one guy out with injury and two out with suspensions. The issue itself wasn't a serious issue, but it was serious enough that we decided as coaches to stick to our guns. Hopefully it'll be a learning experience for them."
Herrell also joined DeShawn Alston, Cameron Gunnell and Josh Wheeler on the 800 relay that had the best time (1:31.41) in the preliminaries. Herell had the fifth-fastest preliminary time in the 400 (52.42) to advance to the final. He competed in the regional running preliminaries last Wednesday at Hilliard Davidson. The running finals are Friday.
"In a way, I was kind of nervous to run it," said Herrell, who is among several Bearcats who have battled injuries over the past few weeks. "The last time I ran a 400 I had a bad leg, and I tried to come out fast and got burned on the curve. I tried to run at a (steady) pace (last Saturday).
"It's something that's kind of special. It's something I can brag about to my family. I'm not really running this for me. I want coach Whiting's season to end on a good note."
The only other Bearcat to score at district was Wes Edwards in the long jump (seventh, 20 feet, 8 1/4 inches).
Others who advanced to finals for the boys team were Julius Miller in the 100 (eighth-fastest preliminary time, withdrew from final), Cameron Gunnell, Dominique Johnson, Julius Miller and Josh Wheeler in the 400 relay (third-fastest preliminary time, withdrew from final) and Deonta Stenson in the 800 (second-fastest preliminary time, withdrew from final).
Herrell was a regional qualifier on the 1,600 relay last year, but the 1,600 relay failed to advance to the district final this season.
None of the Brookhaven's three individuals girls elected to compete at district as Lancaster was first (118).
"It was interesting because in the prelims he would have won by a good distance but he held up the last few meters and ended up with the sixth-fastest time," Whiting said of Herrell in the 400. "The heats are supposed to be seeded by time but it really just depends.
"I was telling Drew that he has to be confident and run a good, solid race to be able to make it to the regional. (The regional will be) a good experience for him with him being a junior. It gives me a chance to coach a couple more days."