Sprinting towards state
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Individually they may not be fastest, but together the 4×400 relay
With a time of 3:17.1, the boys 4×400 relay including Christian Palmer, Isaiah Palmer, Daniel Lescay, and Jordan Jones, are ranked number six nationally. But for them, your mentality is just as important as practice.
“While running, you’re not really thinking about anything other than either staying in first or catching the dude that you need to go catch,” junior Jordan Jones said. “After winning the race, hearing what happened, we were pretty excited, we know that even after that, that didn’t mean taking a break, that meant work harder and keep staying on top.”
During the race, the athletes were unaware of the potential they had for being ranked.
“I’m the first leg so when I went out to run I wasn’t really focused on a record or anything,” senior Daniel Lescay said. “I was just focused on getting out and getting my team a lead and that’s all that mattered to me, nothing else just getting a lead for my team.”
Preparing for a race can be nerve racking but the runners focused on the race, and the race only.
“Before running I might have been nervous and kind of excited at the same time, but while I was running, my head was clear,” Lescay said.
In many events, track is an individual sport where you hold yourself accountable, but for the 4×400 relay these athletes must rely on each other in order to be successful.
“It was intense, just a lot of adrenaline going, but the only goal in mind is just keep going hard for our team and keep us in first,” junior Christian Palmer said.
With the clock as their motivation, the runner’s focused on their speed and helping their time.
“During the race I was thinking that I needed to keep the lead and even gain more ground in the race,” senior Isaiah Palmer said. “At that point, I knew we were going to win it but we were racing against the clock and not against an opponent. I just wanted to finish strong and get a good time.”
However this was not the end goal, but merely a milestone on their road to state.
“It was pretty exciting definitely just to know that we were up there in the best of the country but definitely after a while we didn’t want to stay complacent,” Christian said. “We wanted to keep working hard knowing that we could get better.”
In his last year, Isaiah has not stopped working to improve even more.
“For me, we have been to regionals all three years, and have gotten really close to going to state, but we haven’t actually gotten to state,” Isaiah said. “The motivation is just that this is my last year and we need to go to state.”
Although practice doesn’t make perfect, these athletes have left no room for laziness.
“They work pretty hard as far as all the stuff we have to do the high demand of pressure that we put on them. As far as the workouts and being up at six o’clock in the morning till staying here till five,” head boys track coach Chip Gregory said. “Obviously the hard work and dedication those guys put in is starting to pay off.”
Nothing comes close to the feeling of being placed as one of the best of the best.
“Just knowing that we became the best at that time, you have the mindset that other schools see that and that pushes them to work harder to become the best,” Jones said. “Which when you think about that, that should push you and drive you to work harder. Your excited at the time, but in the long run you’re going to work harder and harder to stay on top.”
This doesn’t mean a break for these athletes because there is always areas needing improvement.
“Keep being tough on them, keep putting that pressure on them, knowing that somebody is right behind them,” Gregory said. “The easiest way is really just to keep pushing and keep changing things up and making them adapt to it.