Rio Rico senior Carlos Villarreal says he just runs to run.
But with fans on their feet and the cheers growing louder as he came down the stretch, Villarreal went into a sprint and broke the state record in the boys 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 3.98 seconds.
Villarreal later won the Division III state title in the 800 in 1:54.23 at the state track and field championships Friday at Mesa Community College.
Villarreal shaved nearly six seconds off his best time this year in the 1,600.
“I wanted to enjoy my last high school meet,” Villarreal said. “Just go out there and run. Don’t worry about the weather. Don’t worry about the record. Just go out and run. I just wanted to enjoy it and let it sink all in.”
Villarreal admitted he was tired for the 800 but he still ran his fastest time this year.
“I knew my team needed me so I just put together everything I had left in the tank to do it,” he said.
Villarreal was pushed by Page’s Jeffery Miller in the 1,600. They were even after a 60-second first lap. Miller stayed on his hip much of the way, before falling behind and finishing in 4:13.97.
Villarreal, headed to Arizona to run track, broke former Tuba City great Billy Orman’s state record of 4:05.29.