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Athlete’s Corner – One runner shares his high school adventure in the fast lane

Right after we won the race in New York

I’m a senior at Thornton Academy and I run track. I am a 2x All-Conference, 2x All-State, USATF Champion, School Record holder, and a All-Conference Champion. I started running my freshman year. I gave up football which was hard because I loved playing. But I fell in love with track as soon as I stepped on the track. I started really taking it seriously my junior year after a key moment with a coach. I was top five in the state for both my events and I didn’t really care. I was at Deering at the time and the coach there told me, “You have a lot of talent for barely knowing much about track. If you put some work in you could do this in college.” At that moment everything changed.

My junior year I became All Conference, All State and broke a school record. After New Englands in outdoor going into my senior year, I heard about an open meet you could do after the end of the season. I decide to compete in it and I contacted the fastest three kids in the state to create the best 4×100 Relay team to ever represent Maine.

We worked out with a coach from Traip Academy. She sent sevens kids to Division 1 schools for track and two of them made it to the Olympics. We did workouts for days until we were ready to compete in New York. “We are going to work until you guys puke,” she said. I puked every time we ran one rep. They were the most painful workout I’ve ever done, but it paid off. We killed kids in Scarborough and each of our events and then we were ready to work out for New york. We had about 3 weeks until New york so she worked us to death. After we were done at the Scarborough meet, we were watching an 8th grader run the same times as us and we were the top sprinters in the state and he was just an 8th grader. At the time we were very impressed with him, but then later on we completely forgot about him during us working out for New York.

After winning in New York and becoming champions there, we were ready for Nationals in North Carolina! We only had 2 weeks to raise money so we started a Gofundme. We tried to make enough money for the flight, hotel, and food but we couldn’t in time. We didn’t think we would make in New York but we did and now our season was cut short.

Winning in Scarborough

I made my switch back to Thornton again for my senior year and I’m ready to finish strong. My first race of the season I was getting ready for the 55 meter dash and I went to get my number and I didn’t get number 4. Having number 4 means you’re the #1 seed and the fastest in the race. I got to the line and there he was. That 8th grader that’s now a freshman Jarett Flaker in my lane.

We got down into the blocks and Bam! We took off. I won the race and took my lane back but after seeing the times he was right behind me. I was surprise because no one keeps up with me. I got the W and being the number 1# seed again.

He took it one week and then I took it another week and we did that for weeks until states. We started hanging out after meets and working out together. Getting faster every week waiting for the big week. The big day came and that was States. In trails we both won our heat and now we’re waiting for the big moment.

We warmed up together for finals and we didn’t say a word. After hearing we made it to finals we get right next to each other. Lanes 4 and 5. We get down after hearing “Running to your mark”, “Set”, “Bang”. We hear the gun and we are the first ones out of the blocks. I see the line and I throw myself across at the same time he did. After the race i’m waiting for the time to come up. The Freshman beats me.

I stop and thought about all the hard work I put in over the summer and throughout the season for this moment and I failed. I shook his hand because he deserved it. He always wanted to do one more rep after we were done the workout. He was hungry to be fast and my body was beat up over the years. My mind was still young but old to the sport. My legs were just tired and worn out from over the years and just non-stop working. He has a bright future and I can’t wait to come back and watch him defend his crown.  

Winning the 55 meter dash at Southwestern

I sit back and think about if I could just start over right now with the same body I have right now. I would first change my grades so I could Division 1. I have to go Division 3 right now because of my grades but I only blame myself for it and I can’t go back to change anything at all. I would do anything to restart highschool but now I can. I will be attending Springfield college next year to keep running. I am a top prospect there now and what the coach told me I could become an All-American by my junior year! I wouldn’t mind being around track for the rest of my life. I love it so much words can’t even describe it, nothing can to be honest. I had a great season in high school. I did some things I didn’t know I could do. I left a mark on the track and left as a champion.

This is how I became the sprinter I am today! This was the workout we did every day after track practice. I never missed a day even when I was sick. Becoming good at track doesn’t come overnight. You have to be smart at running and knowing what to do in races. Having a calm mindset will get you far in life and on the track.

[box]TRAINING IN THE WEIGHT ROOM! Start building some sprinting strength by incorporating these much needed movements. Power Cleans – 5 sets of 5 reps Barbell Squats – 3 sets of 6 reps Bench Press – 3 sets of 6 reps Plate and Body Weight Complex Finisher – 3 superset of the following: Chin-ups – 10 reps Jump Squats w/plate – 12 reps Hanging Knee raises – 20 reps Reverse Lunge w/knee drive – 8 reps on each leg Dips – 10 reps -Sled Drag (40 ft.)[/box]


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