And while the performance for the race, the weekend, and perhaps the overall career drew a long and sustained ovation from the Centerville faithful, Busch was his own critic even after claiming his fourth state title in two years.
“I wanted that 3A final record,” Busch said refering to the mark of 1:53.74 set by Isaac Wendland of Charles City in 2008. “I was pretty confident coming into the race that I could win this title again. I set my sights on a new goal to challenge myself. I really wanted that title.”
Minutes earlier, North Mahaska senior Beau Freeborn exploded in celebrating his first championship by claiming his one and only 800 meter title in the boys 1A race. The Warhawk runner beat out Martensdale-St. Mary’s senior Trent Verwers in his final race by 1.06 seconds to win the title in 1:55.68.
“It’s almost like winning the Super Bowl,” Freeborn said. “You growing up as a kid watching your favorite team win the Super Bowl and this is it right here. Winning the state championship to me in the great state of Iowa to me, right here, you can’t beat it.”
Freeborn also beat out a fellow South Iowa Cedar League rival in the 800 final on Saturday. Sigourney senior David Wehr brought his career to a great close, finishing fourth in the same race in a time of 2:00.25 in his first and only appearance at state.
Wehr and Freeborn shared a special moment as both left the track together after competing against each other for the final time on the elite state of state.
“I just wanted to congratulate him and tell him what an honor it’s been running against him all these years,” Wehr said. “I told him that was an awesome run. I tried to stick with him and I think it helped me produce an awesome run of my own to wrap up my track career.”