Whitmer track coach Jeremy Elliott would have understood if Nate and Nick Holley decided not to compete at the 15th annual Knight Relays on Friday evening at St. Francis de Sales.
The Panthers seniors had attended their mother's funeral only hours earlier in the day. Lori Holley had passed away exactly week earlier.
Yet, the Holley brothers were in uniform with the rest of the Panthers track team and helped Whitmer finish third in the team standings at the Knight Relays.
"It was something our mom would have wanted us to do," said Nate, who was named the meet's most valuable track performer. "Us being here tonight was a tribute to her."
Nate won the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.34 seconds. He also ran with Nick, Marcus Elliott and Matt Sutter to finish first in the shuttle hurdle relay (1:01.67). The Holleys also ran with Chris Boykin and Al Nemeth to run second in the 1600 relay (3:29.80). Nate and Conner Frisch claimed the long jump relay with a combined result of 42-6.25.
Nick and Tyler Szychowski claimed the pole vault relay with a combined result of 27-feet after both cleared 13-6.
"She would have wanted us to come, so we just ran for the love our mom," said Nick, who also ran the anchor leg on the Panthers 800 relay team that placed seventh with a time of 1:35.20. "Mom wouldn't miss anything. I believe she was here today."
Elliott left it up to the Holleys about participating on Friday night. However, he said the Holleys expressed to him that they didn't want to miss competing with their "track family."
"That says a lot about them," he said.
Findlay's Tyler Brown took part in leading the Trojans to the team championship by placing first in three events. He won the 400 with a time of 48.89 and took part in Findlay placing first in the high jump relay and second in the long jump relay. Brown had been limited in competition during the outdoor track season with an injury until breaking out at the Knight Relays.
"It was a great day," said Brown, who was named the most valuable field performer after he topped the high jumpers by clearing 6-6 and long jumpers with an effort of 23-1.50. "It's been awesome to get back at it."
Findlay finished with 101 points, followed by Southview with 97 points, Whitmer 95, St. Francis de Sales 89, St. John's Jesuit 80, Central Catholic 67, Bedford 48, Clay 43, Northview 32, Start 31, Bowsher 26, Toledo Christian 19, Maumee 12.
St. Francis' Kyle Lach looked impressive winning the 1600 (4:24.48) before Central Catholic's Charlie Gibbons looked good winning the 3200 (9:34.60).
The Knights' David St. John, Jason White, Pat Davis and Dan Siebenaller won the 6400 relay (18:52.96). Steven Will, Dan Lenart, Davis and Siebenaller prevailed in the 3200 relay (8:20.72).
Southview's Malcolm Johnson showed plenty of speed on his way to winning the 100 (11.11) and Central Catholic's James Freeman won the 200 (22.80). Start's Dionte Carey won the 110 hurdles (15.33).
Southview's Keith Gilmore, Jeremy Cook, Jaquan Bowers and Perry Burkes won the 800 relay (1:31.56). The Cougars also won the 400 relay (43.45) and 1600 relay (3:25.86).
Southview's Chad Justus won the 800 (2:00.79) with a strong kick down the stretch.
"I'm very confident in my sprinting and I fully believe over the last 100 meters nobody can beat me," Justus said.
Findlay's Bryce Burnside topped the field in the shot put (50-4) while Southview's Berry Grant bested the field in the discus (148-3).