Meet Brandon Clark, Olathe Kansas track star who suffered from a stroke.
Brandon Clark started his leg of the distance medley relay just as any other high schooler in the event would. As teammate Max Flower ran down the straight to finish his leg of 400 meters, Clark, a senior from Olathe North, took the handoff and held his team at fourth place in the race throughout his leg.
At 2 minutes flat, it was the fastest 800 meters he had run since the state meet in May 2017. “I don’t know what clicked, but today felt right, today felt good,” Clark said after the race, starting to catch his breath.
It didn't break any records — though Clark does hold the Olathe North 800-meter record at 1 minute 56 seconds. It wasn’t even the fastest time in the 800-meter leg; that belonged to Daniel Mattern of Omaha Creighton Prep, who kicked his team into first in the relay. Yet on Halloween of 2017, nobody thought Clark would ever run again. No one knew what was happening, even Clark.
Seventeen-year-old Clark had a blood clot in his brain stem, suffering a stroke after a practice. He needed emergency surgery in the early morning of Nov. 1. Read more about Clark’s stoke.