PARKERSBURG - When you can run as fast as Tyler Cantley, you don't need any help.
But Cantley wasn't about to turn down a little assistance on Saturday as he tried to win the News and Sentinel Two-Mile for the fourth consecutive year.
Cantley was joined at the start line -and for that matter at the finish line, too -by three of his teammates at Ohio University, including coach Craig Leon.
Start of News and Sentinel Two Mile race
As a result of their pacing him, Cantley not only won the race, but he also set a course record, completing the distance in 9 minutes and 48 seconds.
Cantley was motivated on Saturday. He knew if he won the race, it would mark the 10th straight year a graduate of Warren High School was the champion. In addition to Cantley's four titles, Jason Linton won the previous six races.
Cantley vows he will be back next year, the year after that and the year after that in his pursuit to break Linton's record streak of victories.
Photo by Tresa Taylor
Tyler Cantley, second from left, sets a new course record of 9 minutes and 48 seconds in the men’s two-mile competition.
Saturday saw the top five places all go to runners from Athens. In addition to Cantley and his three OU teammates, an Athens High runner joined them at the head of the pack.
Although Cantley has dominated the Two Mile, going virtually unchallenged during his previous wins, he came down with a stomach virus on Wednesday and started getting concerned about his ability to run on Saturday morning.
"I have been healthy all year, then I get the stomach virus,'' he said.
But once Cantley took off, he felt good.
When the runners went past the News and Sentinel office on Juliana Street, Cantley was surrounded by the group from Athens. But as they started to ascend the short incline further up Juliana Street, Cantley made his move and none of the others reacted. The race once again was his.
"A decade of dominance,'' Cantley said, showing his pride in Warren High School. "I wanted to do it for the school and for the community. I'm glad I was able to deliver.''
Cantley constantly is pushing himself in an effort to fo the most out of his body. But after his bout with the stomach flu, he hadn't really thought about setting a record on Tuesday.
Cantley was one of three members of his family who competed in the race. His mother, Terry, and his 13-year-old brother, Colton, joined him at the starting line and congratulated him at the finish line on his fourth straight victory and new course record.