Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported Kammeron Reed passed the baton to Blake Wright. Reed passed the baton to Kevin Nutt.
The legacy of Kevin Nutt in Central Section track and field will run far deeper than records books.
And make no mistake, the Edison High senior, as the fourth-best sprinter in the section's 99-year history, registers prominently.
This season, The Bee's male Athlete of the Year in the sport won four golds at the section Masters finals, medaled twice in the state and leaves for Colorado State on a football scholarship with times of 10.57 seconds and 21.17 in the 100 and 200 meters.
Only West of Bakersfield's Marquez Holiwell (1995) and Joel Andrews (1975), and Madera's Ron McCree (1986) have clocked faster combinations since they first fired the starting gun for section track and field in 1915, according to historian Ron Blackwood.
But while they all went on to became state champs, none had to shed the emotional conditions that Nutt did before climbing the medals stand at the CIF State Championships earlier this month at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
To review the improbable glory-turned-agony of Nutt and his Tigers teammates:
Among 27 teams qualified in the 400 relay, Edison arrived with the third-best time of 41.37. Meaning: They had a shot of becoming the second male foursome from the Central Section to win a gold in the event. The other? Edison in 1983.
This time, Blake Wright, Charles Wheeler, Kammeron Reed and Nutt won their preliminary heat in 41.56.
And 24 hours later, with Nutt turning turning a virtual tie into a rout with a blistering anchor leg, Edison won in a team season-best 41.09 -- tied for third in section history.
So overcome with exhilaration, Nutt dropped to his knees on the track, 30 meters on the curve beyond the finish line.
But the catch: A few minutes later, he was out of the stadium and on an adjacent baseball field in tears, "throwing a tantrum" after the Tigers were disqualified because Reed had been judged to cross his inside lane by a couple inches on a few steps immediately after passing the baton to Nutt.
Reed obstructed nobody, but no matter.
"I cross the finish line, I see (on the digital scoreboard) we (timed a team best) by a lot," Nutt says. "I turn around, I see Kammeron, he gives me a big hug and says, 'Thank you.' Then an official tells us we DQ'd. I couldn't think anymore. I walked away.
"It was heartbreaking."
It was 6:20 p.m.
And it was pressing.
Nutt had also qualified for 100 and 200 races at 7:40 p.m. and 8:38 p.m.
"I didn't think he was going to run," coach Danny Alberty says. "After the DQ, I had to go to our 15 (boys and girls competing) kids, and Kevin was my first one.
"After breaking down mentally with him, I had to go through 14 more. My last kid was Blake Wright and I said, 'Blake, I need your help.' He said, 'What do you need, Coach?' I said, 'I need you to get to Kevin and get him ready for the (100) and the (200). How are we going to do it?'
"Kevin heard me, wiped his eyes and said, 'I've got this.' Next thing I know, he's in the 100. I have a lot of respect for him because that took a lot, especially in track and field. You open up your first race, something negative happens, you come back mentally prepared and run the best time of your life (wind-aided 10.55), only take fifth place, forget it, and then jump into the (200). And then he's leading after 180 meters and ends up taking third.
"But, at the end of the day, he's heard."
That's when Nutt -- who may double in track and field at Colorado State -- pledged allegiance for his high school.
"The DQ killed my mood; I didn't want to run," he says. "But, eventually, I had to go back out there and let them know we're still there, to make a statement that the Edison boys track team does exist."
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: KEVIN NUTT
• Grade: Senior
• School: Edison
• Not fast enough? The athlete who didn't compete in track and field through seventh grade because "I wasn't fast enough -- I was scared of losing," swept the Fresno Unified School District Middle School 100- and 200-meter dashes at Scandinavian in eighth grade and, ultimately, this season at Edison, won four gold medals at the Central Section Masters, medaled twice at the CIF State Championships and departs to Colorado State on a football scholarship as the fourth-leading sprinter in the 99-year history of section track and field.
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