Savannah Abshire | Reporter
Run. Rest. Repeat. This is the continuous chant for athletes in track and field. Last year, the Avon Boys’ Track and Field team took home the gold at the Indiana State Championships after repeating the cycle for months. Spectators watch closely to see what junior Geordan Blades and seniors Jalen Peterson and Nathaniel James can do at the 2019 state championship.
“My personal goals this year at state would just be to finish in the top eight. I want to make the final at state and just run a new personal best,” Blades said. “When it comes to team goals, I just want us to put as many points on the board as possible.”
For junior Awet Hailu, his goal of making it to state in the open 800 meter and the 4×800 meter relay did not happen this year, but he’s still looking to improve during the off season by building muscle for next season. Although his season ended at regionals, he has some advice for those looking to join track.
“I would tell [those looking to join track] that it is a lot more work mentally than it is physically, so be prepared,” Hailu said. “One of the things I have learned is nothing comes easily. You’re only as good as you allow yourself to be.”
The boys’ track and field team has had seven county titles, five Hoosier Crossroads Conference titles, nine first place sectional titles, and one state title in the past ten years. They sent seven boys to state last year with Isacc Guerendo and Jaban Carter competing in multiple events.
“I think [we have been successful] because of the leadership the seniors have shown over the years and the consistent work ethic to follow it up,” Peterson said. “It gives the underclassmen the understanding of goals we must reach every year which is a state championship opportunity.”
For James, it is not his first time competing in an individual event at the state championship. James competed in the shot put event at the 2018 championship and Blades competed in the 4×100 meter relay his sophomore year.
“The highlight of my season would have to be just making it to state. It is my first time going in an individual event. I am beyond excited,” Blades said. “I have learned how to really work hard and push myself. I have learned how to compete and what goes with it.”
This season, the boys’ track and field team did more than just run, rest, and repeat. In order to do well, they believe they must not only have a strong work ethic but a strong bond, too.
“If I had to pick one thing our team is really good at it would be our class. In my eyes we have the best sportsmanship out of any team in the state. I would say this year was a success,” Blades said.
Leading up to the state meet, runners must take care of themselves both mentally and physically. The meet can be draining for any athlete, and they must make sure their minds and bodies are ready to handle the pressure that the state meet can cause.
“As I get ready for Friday, I have to keep a consistent daily routine and eating healthy foods to make sure my body is able to perform at a high level,” Peterson said. “I feel this year was a perfect year, because I have reached my goal of getting a school record and I have reached the ultimate goal of getting to state.”
The IHSAA Track and Field State Finals are at Indiana University on May 31 at 3:00 p.m.
Photo of 2018 Avon Boys’ Track and Field Team