Raef Hilt and Chaydon Carter wanted to send off their senior teammates the right way.
Hilt started the Orioles' 4x100-meter relay finals at the state track meet Saturday, and Carter finished it. In between, seniors Kyler Steinkamp and Cortlan Williams handled the middle legs of the race.
"They were motivating me," Hilt said, pointing to the seniors. "I wanted to make sure it was a great trip for them."
The combination worked well all season for the Orioles, and they made the most of their opportunity at State. Augusta finished the race with a time of 43.74 seconds to earn third place in Class 4A.
Only Andale's time of 43.37 and McPherson's time of 43.62 topped Augusta. A third-place medal with a season-best time was a strong finish for the Orioles.
"McPherson came up and surprised us, came out of nowhere," Carter said. "I ran as hard as I possibly could, because it's our seniors' last race."
Steinkamp was especially happy with the time, which was just tenths of a second behind the school record.
Steinkamp already had earned a fifth-place medal in the high jump event earlier in the day. Williams, who made his first appearance at State, was savoring every last moment.
"I was trying to stay focused, not get too hyped too early...," Williams said. "Just wanted to soak up this experience, because it is my first time here. Wanted to look around, enjoy everything.
"We were sitting there [inside] the stadium three hours before the race getting ready. We were so hyped," Williams added.
While talent and speed is obviously crucial, the Orioles enjoyed a successful season largely because of their team chemistry. They stayed loose, but focused. They didn't put pressure, but they kept their expectations high. Mostly, though, they reveled in the friendship and good times.
"Everybody is friends on and off the track," Steinkamp said.
"We had fun practices," Williams said.