Titans' Dudley, Saxons' Hochstetler win 3,000

One thing drove Trent Dudley down the final 100 meters of the 3,000 on Wednesday afternoon.

The race wasn't about setting a personal record time or even winning it for the West Salem High School senior, though he did the latter handily.

For Dudley, the 3,000 meters was about lapping his girlfriend, South Salem senior Courtney Hochstetler.

Hochstetler still won the girls portion of the 3,000 meters, but feet before the finish line she was passed by her boyfriend.

Well, I kept on telling her this week that I was going to try to lap her, she said she was going to try to lap me, Dudley said.

For a second I thought I wasn't going to get her, but then I saw her going into the final lap and I already felt like I was going to throw up, and I was like, well I can throw up or I can let her beat me.

And I decided to throw up so I sprinted out with all my friends cheering for me. I have bragging rights.

South Salem upset West Salem in the boys meet 77-68 and South Salem won the girls 81-64.

The 3,000 meters is the one event in high school dual meets in which the boys and girls compete on the track simultaneously.

Though the couple have been dating for almost a year and a half, they had never previously run in the same race and rarely run with each other, even in training.

We're both really competitive so when we do we always tease each other, Hochstetler said.

It makes me want to go faster.

Dudley was the class of the boys field, going out fast and winning the race in 9:45.80, a win by nearly 20 seconds.

Hochstetler, who missed most of the last track and field season, easily won the girls race in 12:06, a win by 20 seconds.

But Dudley had the bragging rights in the relationship.

I'm really happy for her, Dudley said. She's had a really good season in cross country, obviously. She's able to go and compete with her teammates every day in practice. And they're really close, so it's just a great team atmosphere for her.

The team score was a surprising result.

West Salem was the favorite to win the league, but South Salem had some big performances that led to the win.