Donning a pair of Superman socks, Futch nearly broke his own state record in the 300 hurdles, which he also won as a junior, crushing the field by 1.1 seconds. In the 200, in which Futch said he felt "sluggish," he outdueled defending state champ Ronnie Gillespie (Upper Perkiomen) by three-tenths of a second.
Futch saved the best for last. As the second leg of the 4x400, he ran a blistering split of 47.9 seconds, according to Penn Wood coaches. He took the baton in third place by about 10 meters. When he handed off to Ricky Meriweather, the Patriots led by nearly 20 meters.
Penn Wood went on to win the relay by 2.83 seconds. Afterward, Futch dropped to his knees on the infield and began to cry.
Last week, at the District 1 meet at Coatesville, Futch was disqualified for arguing with a meet official. Per PIAA rules, any athlete penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct is not permitted to compete in the next scheduled event of the same level of competition.
The PIAA overturned the ruling, which had been questioned by many, on the eve of the championships.
"That was an off-track incident, so I tried to just keep everything on the track, stay positive, don't think about nothing, come in today, and run my hardest because it was my last meet as a high school competitor," Futch said.
Futch carried Penn Wood to 34 team points and second place overall in Class AAA. Of all his titles, he coveted the relay championship most.
"It was really special," Futch said. "Jonathan Stiles has been one of my best friends since freshman year. We've been kickin' it ever since then. Last week, when I didn't run [in the 4x400 at districts], I was really upset with myself. I promised them we would win, and that's what we did."
Stiles anchored the relay.
"Regardless if he made it or not, I was going to try my best to do whatever I could to win this and it would be for him," Stiles said. "Him being here, he made it that much easier for us to do this. That's my man.
"Forget freshman year, I've know this man since the first grade. We've been in the same school all 12 years. We've got a real tight bond."
Futch finished his high school career with four outdoor state titles. He'll run at Houston next year.
"I wanted to leave it on the track for my team," he said. "Let everyone in the stands know I'm a champion."
Contact Evan Burgos at email@example.com.