Normally 1 minute, 9.7 seconds isn’t a great time for the 300-meter hurdles in the state meet, but for Chesapeake Science Point junior Joshua Monterroso, it tells you all you need to know about the runner’s inner strength.
Monterroso, whose personal record is 41.21 seconds, landed wrong on his right ankle early in the Class 1A state final, but still completed the race.
He later found out that he broke his ankle, making the feat even more impressive. Monterroso made it around the track, clearing every hurdle, not feeling the pain even as he would have to land on the ankle after clearing each hurdle.
“Every time I stepped on it, it felt limp noodle. It was really hard to keep running since I wasn’t stepping properly,” Monterroso said. “It felt every time you stepped on it very uncomfortable, I don’t know how to explain it, not pain pain, but it wasn’t right,” Monterroso said. “On the second to last hurdle, I couldn’t even run anymore; I had to step over.”
Even though his ankle is now broken and he had to deal with pain in the race, there was no doubt in his mind that he was going to finish the race on his own. If was helped by any person or he put his hands on any hurdle, he would’ve been disqualified.
That wasn’t an option for him.
“I couldn’t bring myself to [disqualify]. I had to finish the race,” Monterroso said. “I couldn’t bring myself to do that, it’s like the biggest thing. I worked so hard to get where I was, I just couldn’t give up that, especially not in front of my entire team.”
The 300-meter hurdles isn’t Monterroso’s original event. He was moved by his coach Galen Watts midseason. Watts was trying to give his athletes the most opportunities to make the state meet and Monterroso became the team’s best in the event. For Watts, the race personified what Monterroso means to the Chesapeake Science Point team.
“He takes on the personality of the team by the effort that he gave, He knows what it takes, he’s been running with me for a couple of years,” Watts said. “He knows to give it his all no matter what. It’s just built into him, I don’t have to coach his motor or anything. He’s that person I don’t have to worry about.”
Monterroso will be in a cast for at least four weeks but will return in plenty of time for his senior season.