Track and field: Gonzaga’s Crozier closes impressive career with outstanding WCAC meet

May 19, 2012

Mike Crozier scored in four events at the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships on Saturday, punctuating one of the all-time great Gonzaga distance running careers after almost losing his entire senior season to injury.

Crozier, who had a stress reaction in his right leg diagnosed in March and only started racing again at the beginning of this month, froze the clock in the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes 18.55 seconds. He took Friday’s 3,200 in 9:28.71. Instead of his spikes, the Georgetown signee wore his trainers during the longer race. “Just to keep from tightening up,” he said.

Crozier also added a 1:55 split on the Eagles’ third-place 4x800 relay team and, near the end of the meet when his energy was all but depleted, a runner-up performance in the 800 (1:59.64). He was named boys’ most outstanding performer on a hot day at Good Counsel.

Still, nothing Crozier or anybody else did could keep DeMatha from capturing its first team title since 2008. Just a couple of points separated DeMatha and Gonzaga going into the final two events. The Stags used a strong crop of freshman and sophomore talent to take a late lead and then close the deal. Good Counsel was third.

There wasn’t nearly that kind of drama in the girls’ meet. Bishop McNamara gave an early challenge, but Elizabeth Seton, led by intermediate and high hurdles champion Taylor Tucker and 100 meters titleist Chelsie Stevens, won its sixth straight league title. O’Connell was third.

Brielyn Rogers gave McNamara a huge boost. The junior won the triple jump (39 feet) and the high jump (5-0) and also scored in the 100 hurdles and long jump.

Kyle Martin was the favorite in both hurdles races and he delivered in front of his home crowd. The Virginia Commonwealth signee gobbled up the field in the high hurdles (14.23) before capturing the intermediates in 38.76.

Archbishop Carroll senior All-Met Kiah Seymour was voted girls’ most outstanding performer. The Penn State signee got to bed late Friday night after prom, but was never challenged in winning the 200 (24.47) and the 400 (56.69).

Crozier, an All-Met selection last fall, had a long and successful cross-country season, but didn’t give himself much time to rest when it was over. He took a two-week break and then jumped right back into a difficult training program. His body broke down. He couldn’t run fast without hurting anymore.

He took another five-week break, exchanging running for pool exercises. Crozier returned to the track in mid-April and started experiencing decent workouts.

“When I didn’t believe in myself, my teammates and my coaches did,” said Crozier, who ran an area-leading 9:09.22 in the 3,200 nine days ago. “I’m really proud of how hard I worked.”

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