On Saturday, the Howland senior’s main purpose was to stand atop the podium inside the infield of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with a state championship.
Before that, he had to win it on the track — beat the field of 17 other runners in eight laps around The Ohio State University venue.
He waited during the first lap, staying with the lead pack. Then his lead grew and he won the Division I 3200 race at state by almost seven seconds with a time of 9:07.47. It was a mission.
This day Mauri wanted to show he was the fastest before heading off to Arizona State University — his swan song at the state meet. He wanted to beat the state record of 8:54.96 set in 2016 by Andrew Jordan of Watkins Memorial. Mauri ran his personal best of 9:03.63 at last week’s Division I Austintown Regional.
He showed his gratitude with a quick fist pump and a smile when he stood atop the podium to receive his gold medal.