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This time of season, athletes have a tendency to feel enormous pressure since their seasons could end at any time.
And then there's Bronson Luksza.
The Cuyahoga Falls junior seems to be oblivious to all of the stress.
"He is very relaxed and smooth when he runs," Black Tigers head track and field coach Dieter Keller said. "He has a nice stride about him. It looks like he's on an evening run."
Thanks to his ability to turn off all that was going on around him, Luksza was Falls' lone athlete to advance to the Division I regional competition.
Luksza qualified for the regional competition in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 4 minutes, 27.39 seconds at the Nordonia Division I district meet May 19 at Boliantz Stadium in Macedonia.
The top four athletes in each event and top four relays teams qualified for the regional competition, which was scheduled to take place May 24 and 26 at Austintown-Fitch High School. Results were not available at press time.
The top four athletes in each event advance to the state competition, which is set to take place June 2 and 3 at The Ohio State University's Jesse Owen Memorial Stadium.
Keller believes the sky is the limit for his standout distance runner.
"Bronson has had a really good season," Keller said. "He's a few seconds off the school record, which is 4:19. If he doesn't get it this year, it will happen pretty early next year."
At one point, Luksza was in front of the pack.
"He led three laps," Keller said. "He was strong enough in the end to hold onto third. The big thing with him is he's a little bit relaxed and he has a little bit of guts."
Keller also felt good about his pupil prior to his big race. The fact that he wasn't shaking or sweating had something to do with his coach's confidence.
"He's always so relaxed before his race," Keller said. "He usually has a smile on his face. I couldn't be happier for Bronson. I'm thrilled to see him get out."
In the team standings, Falls finished 11th out of 14 teams with 18 points.
Twinsburg won the competition with 87 points and Hudson (79) and Walsh Jesuit (74.5) placed second and third, respectively.
Luksza's teammate, freshman Jack Wilcoxson, took sixth (4:39.5) in the 1,600.
If Luksza is going to break the school record, he better do it soon.
"The big joke of the season is that when Bronson breaks the record, he's not going to hold it for long," Keller said. "That's because Jack will probably break it. It's definitely the goal to get Bronson and Jack to state next year."
Luksza and Wilcoxson joined junior Jay Wilson and senior Kyle Wilson on the fifth-place 3,200 relay team (8:27.53).
Taking seventh were senior Jacob Strausser in the 400 in 51.48 seconds and freshman Anthony Nichols in the 3,200 (10:09.19).
Strausser capped off a stellar career as a Black Tiger.
"Jake had a shot, but he fell short," Keller said. "Most of the time, Jake didn't have any competition. He worked as hard as he could.
"He is going to bigger and better things. He had some opportunities to run on the next level, but he's going to join the marines."
Jay Wilson added an eighth place in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 6 inches.
Senior Tanner Treptow just missed placing. He took ninth in the pole vault with a vault of 10 feet. Teammate Jordan Vanyo, a senior, finished in a four-way tie for 10th (9 feet).
Sophomore Ryan Freeman placed 10th (118 feet) in the discus.
"[Sophomore] Eric Rosiak missed by half an inch of qualifying for the long-jump finals," Keller said. "Ryan Freeman has worked on getting stronger. He is in the 120 range in the discus.
"Anthony Nichols has improved his two-mile time all season. He's a strong kid with an enormous motor."
Although it was a struggle against the highly competitive Suburban League National Conference for much of 2017, Keller believes his team can make a dramatic turnaround next spring.
"Distance-wise, it's going to be fun next year," he said. "It's going to be a blast to see what Bronson and Jack can do. We've got some young hurdlers and we've got some up-and-coming throwers and jumpers."