Mammoth High School distance runner Toby Qualls won in the 3200m Russell Cup Invitational last Saturday, but it wasn’t just his competition that was the obstacle.
Qualls’ winning time was 9:49:07 for the two-mile course, and he had to battle wind most of the way.
Because of the fierce winds, only three runners broke the ten-minute mark.
The winds were so strong that Qualls (and others) narrowly avoided disaster.
The top four winners of each race stood on a wooden podium to accept their medals.
Soon after Qualls received his medal, the next four podium winners were blown off the podium by the wind. The structure narrowly missed hitting one of the girls as she fell from the podium. As it was, no one was hurt.
Qualls began the race as a fourth seed, but prevailed over the top seed, Nordhoff High School Senior Gustavo Sanchez and Desert Christian Senior Scott Acton.
At the one-mile mark, Sanchez and Qualls dropped from the three-man leader group, and Qualls beat back Sanchez, winning the race by eight seconds.