Track

The end of an era

CHARLESTON, Ill. — That’s a wrap, folks.

Tyra Buss completed perhaps the most star-studded and record-setting athletic career in Mt. Carmel High School history Saturday at the IHSA Class 2A state track meet at Eastern Illinois University.

She went out by adding to her record parade and newsmaker ability all at once. She earned medals in three events at the state meet — all accomplished on a broken toe.

Tyra competed throughout the entire weekend with the broken toe, and did not say anything to anyone — not even her mother, Lady Aces coach Kelly Buss.

“I didn’t want to worry you, mom,” said Tyra, who assured herself of spots in the finals after qualifying in the preliminaries Friday night.

She ran a school-record breaking time of 15.54 seconds in the 100-meter high hurdles. She ran her best time of the season by four seconds in the 800 with a time of 2:15.68, and won her heat in the 300 low hurdles (45.58).
All that in just the prelims.

On Saturday, Tyra seemed to surprise even herself by placing fifth in the high hurdles in 15.58, just .04 seconds off her record performance one night earlier.

In the 800, Tyra “got herself boxed in, getting herself tripped up and never could let herself stride out,” according to Kelly Buss. Yet, the senior managed to medal with the eighth-best time overall (2:18).

She saved her best performance of the weekend for the very last competition as an MCHS athlete.

In the low hurdles, her favorite race, Tyra finished in fourth in a virtual dead heat. Judges had to go to cameras to declare a winner.

Her time of 43.99 seconds smashed her previous school record of 44.81 set last year. Chante Stonewall of Normal University High won in a time of 43.84 seconds.

Buss scored 13 points for Mt. Carmel, enabling the Lady Aces to finish in a tie for 18th place in the final standings. Cahokia won the state title with 61 points.

Tyra finished her track career at the Hilltop with a total of seven state medals. She finished with six sectional championships and 10 Big 8 Conference titles with a conference record in the 400.

She never lost a regular-season race in the low hurdles, 800 or 400 during her four years.

Tyra now holds five individual school records and was a part of three relay records.

“As Tyra’s coach I am so proud of all the hard work that she has put in over the last four years and the dedication the she has given to the sport of track,” Kelly Buss said. “As her mother, I am so proud of her competitiveness and her will to never give up no matter what.”

Not even a broken toe could do that.

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