On Friday afternoon, Damien Nelson wrote his name in the State Track and Field All-Class record book.
On Saturday, he threw away the book and carved his name on a stone tablet.
The C.M. Russell senior sprinter wrapped up his high school career at the combined Class AA and C state track and field championships at Memorial Stadium by shattering his own All-Class record in the Class AA boys’ 100 meters – which he had set just 24 hours before with a time of 10.66 seconds – running the finals in just 10.5 seconds.
His time was .37 seconds fast than runner up Ethan Larson of Kalispell Glacier. Bozeman’s Robbie Simpson took third with a 10.97.
It was Nelson’s third 100-meter state championship in a row. And when they posted his time on the stadium scoreboard, the crowd erupted.
“I knew I had a little bit more from yesterday, and I just saved it for today,” Wilson said. “I just have to give it up to some of the kids on my track team, with them pummeling me, and especially Coach (Mike) Henneberg staying on me all day, no matter how big of a champion I’ve been over these last two years.
“He just stayed on me all the time, telling me to get my head right. I have to give him thanks for being a good coach and helping me get to this point right here.”
Nelson, who is set to play football at MSU-Northern next fall, described the event as humbling: “I’m not really the type of person to go out and celebrate something like that. My parents raised me to be humble, and that works for me a lot, not letting it get into my head and not getting to big of a head over it.”
Nelson’s new mark is just .02 shy of the Memorial Stadium record of 10.48, set by former Rustler Chris Wilson in 2009. It was Wilson All-Class mark of 10.67 that Nelson broke by the slimmest of margins (.01 seconds) in Friday’s preliminaries.