TONGANOXIE, Kan. — Tonganoxie track star Eli Gilmore took first place at his state meet because he felt like it.
“As the season went on, I was doing really good with my events," Gilmore said. "I was like, why not go for it?"
Going into his senior season, Gilmore had never won a state title. In the fall, he changed that by taking first place at state in Class 4A cross country.
Next up was track and field.
Gilmore became the first male in state history to win the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the State Outdoors. Only two females have accomplished the feat.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in track so far," Gilmore said.
Gilmore became just the 10th boy in state history to win four individual events at a state meet, and the first ever to do it in the four longest running events.
“Throughout high school, I’ve been in top 5 of all the state races and just put a chip on my shoulder to go work harder, train, train in the winter, just all these extra things to have it finally pay off, and it feels good," Gilmore said.
Gilmore is following in his father's footsteps. In 1993, Gilmore's father, Charlie Gilmore, took home four gold's at state for St. Mary's Colgan.
“I won the 100, 200, 400 and anchored the 4x4 relay," said Charlie Gilmore.
Passing the baton to his son, Gilmore ran the 400 just slightly faster than his father did.
“It’s the legacy that I gotta carry on, you know. Maybe one day, I'll have kids and they’ll do the same, you know," Gilmore said.
Gilmore is taking that next step. In the fall, he'll head to Pittsburg State University to continue his cross country and track and field career.