COLUMBUS - The Covington boys track and field team got familiar with the eighth spot on the podium Saturday.
Gray Harshbarger, Alex Shaffer, Cade Schmelzer and Andrew Cates finished eighth in both the 800 and 1,600 relays, while Cates took eighth in the 400.
Harshbarger passed his brother Cade in total state meet medals with the eighth-place finishes in both the 800 relay, 1:31.53 and 1,600 relay, 3:27.87.
"I don't know if I would say that (bragging rights in the family)," Harhsbarger said with a smile. "Cade (Harshbarger) had higher finishes than I did. It was great to get on the podium. These guys (his teammates) did a great job and Cade Schmelzer stepped up in both races (after Duncan Cooper was injured)."
While Shaffer didn't have to hurdle another runner, as he did in the 1,600 relay semifinals, he said it wasn’t easy.
"The 4x4 is never easy," he said. "It feels good to get on the podium twice - to get Gray (Harshbarger) up there twice."
"This was about getting our senior leader (Gray Harshbarger) up on the podium twice," Schmelzer said. "He is our senior leader in a big way. We may not have finished as high as we wanted, but it feels good to get up on the podium."
Cates had the same feeling.
"This was for our senior leader (Gray Harshbarger)," Cates said. "I felt like I could have run a lot better race in the 400. For sure, this is motivation to come back over here next year and finish higher."
Harshbarger expects that.
"These guys are going to do great things next year," he said.