POCA - At track championship time, on some occasions all it takes is a final kick, a nose or, in Poca's Josh Crites, a lean to earn victory.
Crites, a senior, captured the 110-meter high hurdles title as part of Thursday's Cardinal Conference Championships held at Poca. Crites also added a win in the 300 intermediate hurdles to help spur the Dots to the boys team championship.
To secure the win in the 110, Crites lunged forward, narrowly edging Herbert Hoover's Josh Gurksi by two-tenths of a second.
Scott won the girls title, while Hoover finished second and Poca third.
"I had to get him on the lean," Crites said. "I was getting fatigued toward the end. At the beginning, he got me (with his leg) on the front, sweeped around and hit me. I knew I had to fight through it, so I just had to power through, and I got him on the lean."
For Crites, the win marked a hard-fought accomplishment as he's worked to improve his 110 time. Crites finished sixth at last year's state track championships in the 300 hurdles to earn all-state status, though did not advance to the finals in the 110.
"The past few years, I've been running 110s, I haven't been at my best potential, so that's something I've been focusing on more," Crites said, "and my 300s have been slacking, so I've got to pick it up a little bit. I've sort of been trying to do a little bit more this past week in practice working more on the 300s."
If Crites' 300s have suffered, it doesn't show. Crites entered Thursday's meet ranked third in the state in the 300 hurdles, according to www.runwv.com.
Still, Crites has his eyes set on lofty goals for his premier event, so there's plenty of work to be done before regionals.