LOWELL | Brian Blaylock is a little like Alexander the Great, who wept after all of his blood and success because there were "no more worlds to conquer."
Blaylock isn't quite there, but there is some melancholy with the Lowell senior as he looks forward to Saturday's IHSAA state championship at Indiana University.
He is pumped as he he hopes to conquer some more in the 3,200 meters individually and 3,200 relay with his Red Devils' mates.
This is the first time he's advanced to track state as an individual.
"It's exciting," Blaylock said. "But it's also sad. This is going to be my last high school race."
His last day in high school was Thursday. The kick of life is picking up around the final turn.
For those who don't understand the extreme draw of high school sports in the area, look at Blaylock. He'll need a U-Haul to take all of his high school medals to St. Francis where he will run for the NAIA cross country power.
Blaylock received a medal in November in the state cross country meet with an 11th place finish. He's hoping to purchase a bigger trailer after Saturday's state meet.
"Brian listens real well, he's very coachable," Lowell coach Jake Rakoczy said before Wednesday's practice began. "His sophomore season was his breakout year in track."
At last Thursday's Valparaiso Regional, Blaylock finished third behind LaPorte's Anthony Didion (9:27.92) and Hobart's John Petroskey (9:29.24) with a time of 9:29.40. But he set the sectional record the week before at Crown Point in 9:29.03.
Getting out was key. Now, it will be a different kind of race.
"At state you're not forced to be up front," Rakoczy said. "In a race like this being up front is not the best thing. You want to be in a position where you can sneak up and attack and hopefully get a medal."
When Blaylock was in middle school he was always up front – at Lowell Pop Warner football practices. Night having a linebacker's physique and seeing so many others panting in his wake, his life changed.
"I started running a lot more," he said.
In 2012 Lowell's cross country team made it to state as a team. The rest is, well, his story.
The number Blaylock is shooting for in the 3,200 us 9:18. A number like that could get him back up on the pedestal.
"I've been working on my kick all season," said Blaylock, who has only run five 3,200s all year in competition. "At state I want to give an effort in the 9:15-9:20 range.
"It's my last race. I want to get a medal."