Sunday, May 02, 1999

Bellevue surges to late win

Enquirer contributor

        BELLEVUE — One of Bellevue's best male sprinters could hardly breathe during Saturday's Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference meet, and another Tiger was late because he attended his grandmother's funeral.

        Bellevue won the all-relay event anyway after breaking an 80-80 tie with Newport Central Catholic with two events to go and edging the Thoroughbreds 94-90 for the small-school boystitle at the Pep Stidham Track Complex.

        Two-time defending Class A state champion Bishop Brossart edged St.Henry 94-90 in girls' competition.

        There wasn't as much suspense in the Class AA races at Scott. Notre Dame defeated Ryle, 88-68, for the girls championship, while Covington Catholic easily defended its boys title with an 112-83 victory over Highlands.

        Bellevue's win was its second straight and unexpected.

        “It's always surprising,” coach Marty Mayer said. “NCC was strong, St. Henry had strong field events.”

        Bellevue senior Nathan Mattox had been sick all week with with a respiratory infection, but he was a factor Saturday. He helped lead Bellevue to second-place finishes in the 1,600-meter and sprint medley races, and his jump of 20 feet, 9 inches helped give the Tigers second place there.

        Mattox said Mayer's mention of how 1936 Olympian Jesse Owens set four world records in 45 minutes in a meet at Ohio State with an injured back inspired him.

        “It made me think, "If he can do it, I can do it,' ” Mattox said.

        Bellevue junior Russell Madden was equally a factor — he was also on the 1,600-meter and sprint medley teams, and he helped Bellevue to second places in the 3,200 relay and triple jump. He thought about his grandmother, Ruby Chambers, whose funeral he attended Saturday morning.

        “I gave her all my medals,” Madden said. “I'll probably go to her grave (today) and say a prayer.”

        Brossart girls coach Dave Schuh expected the Mustangs' win to be closer than four points — Brossart and St. Henry tied at the top last year.

        Brossart senior Cheryl Gerde and junior C.C. Kopp won the long jump, and Gerde's leap of 16-51/4 broke an 18-year-old school record. Gerde, C.C. Kopp, her sister, senior Cara Kopp and freshman Kristen Enzweiler also set a school record in the shuttle hurdles, though Brossart took second. to St. Henry.

        It was hard to choose a point where CovCath took over because there were so many. The Colonels won eight events, including all the sprint relays.

        Notre Dame won its first NKAC girls title since 1996 by winning five events.


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