GILROY — Alex Scales brought the state’s fastest time this season in the 800 to the Central Coast Section track and field championships Friday night.
But victory didn’t seem so certain for the Bellarmine College Prep star with a half lap left in his signature event.
It took a strong finishing kick for the big guy to start passing runners, finally catching the last one — Westmont’s Jason Gomez — at the tape.
Less than an hour after Scales used a strong finish to win the 1,600, he charged back again to grab the 800, winning in 1 minute, 52.34 seconds, a mere three-one-hundredths of a second ahead of Gomez.
Scales’ two wins helped Bellarmine easily repeat as team champion with 72.5 points. Serra took second with 48 points, followed by Valley Christian with 42.
“I didn’t expect such a fight,” Scales said about his 800. “First from being so far back in the last even 200. I was like, ‘Shoot, what am I doing?’ But I knew I’d have the kick at the end. But I didn’t know it would be matched by Jason. His kick was amazing. I was scared the whole time. It was coming down to the last few meters. I was like, ‘Do I have this? Do I have this?’”
He had it.
“I was thinking do what I do in practice,” Gomez said, “and just hold on for dear life that last 100 and give it everything you’ve got. I think I could have done a little bit better maybe, gotten Alex at the tape. But I still think I did my best.”
Gomez’s time was a personal best by more than two seconds. Scales’ time was a…
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