This story was originally published in the May 12 issue of The Press
It is a rare occurrence when records are broken, especially those which have been held for decades on end. It is even more rare when two records are broken, both belonging to the father of a teammate.
Steve Parsons, the father of Avon Lake junior Mike Parsons, held the relay record in the 4×1600 as well as the distance medley, records he had held since 1983 and 1981, respectively. His son, Mike Parsons, was a part of both relay teams that broke his father’s records at the Comet Relays on April 24.
“We knew we had a chance to break the 4×1600 coming into the Comet Relays,” Parsons said. “We all had to run what we usually run to break it so we were pretty relaxed going into it.”
The 4×1600 team consisting of Justin Housley, Jimmy Adams, Matt Link and Parsons recorded a new record time of 18:19.49, breaking the record of 18:30.
“It was a huge race and it is an honor to be a part of that team,” Adams said. Fellow teammate Housley knew to break the record they needed to start off strong.
“Going into the 4×1600 we were trying to stay up there and stay competitive and help them pull us to the record and a faster time,” Housley said.
Head boys track coach Rob Rocco said a goal of the coaching staff this year was to schedule more relay meets in which the team could attempt to break the record. Now that the goal has been achieved, Rocco believes they are the relay team to beat.
“These guys are really locked in,” he said. “They are doing a great job as far as working as a team.”
Despite having already broken the 4×1600 record earlier in the day, the true test came during the distance medley.
“In the distance medley, everyone had to run their best time and be right on,” Parsons said.
The Shoremen led going into the last 300 meters of the race when the lead was taken by Mentor. Parsons, the anchor of the race pulled ahead in the last 100 meters to win and break the second record of the day for the Shoremen.
“It was really an exciting race to watch and he did it in fine style,” Rocco said. “The whole track team was up on their feet jumping and screaming.”
The distance medley team was made up of Link, Michael Ohradzansky, Adams and Parsons. The Shoremen broke Steve Parsons’ 29-year-old relay record of 10:48 with a new record time of 10:46.75.
“We’ve wanted to break this record since freshmen year, knowing that Mike’s dad held it,” Ohradzansky said. “I had a feeling we were going to break the record and since they had already broke the 4×1600 I was really pumped going into the race.”
As to how his father feels now that his son has broken two of his records, Parsons says his dad couldn’t be happier.
“At the beginning he was joking around saying he didn’t want us to break them, but he was really happy for us when we did,” he said. “My dad is probably the biggest fan out there and he said he couldn’t have asked for a better story.”