OHS Boys track team ready for regional

Boys track ready for regional photo 1

The Okeechobee high school boys track team will compete in two events at the region 4 Class 3A track meet this Thursday at Miami North West High School.
Daniel Shelley was the district 14-3A champion in the 1600 meters last week. He will join Gerardo Saucedo, Alex Hackett and Hunter Sills in the 4×800 meter relay event.
Coach Tyrone Smith said the team really achieved something this spring. He said the weather cooperated and the boys really dedicated themselves after a rough first week of practice.
“Some of them didn’t make it through the workouts in the first week. After that they really picked it and consistently worked hard. I’m proud of them,” he noted.
Shelley said he was disappointed in the fall when he finished second in the cross country district final. He said he used that as motivation to be better this spring.
“It felt great to cross the finish line first. My team pushed me hard. I want to thank my Coach, my Dad and God. I just ran as hard as I could in every race and pushed myself.”
Shelley twisted his ankle the week before the district track meet. He took it easy in the 3200 meter race so he wouldn’t hurt the relay team or his chances in the one mile race.
“I worked on my ankle and used a lot of ice. I also got a lot of rest and I gave my best performance of the year,” he added.
Coach Smith said Shelley was able to knock off 10 seconds from his personal best time in the 1600. He said he thinks Daniel has the ability to make state, perhaps even this year.
“It’s possible for him. You never know how well or how bad the other kids will run. They might have a bad day. Daniel had a great day at districts as he had his best race ever. I think the state final is possible.”
Saucedo said he plans to work hard to prepare himself and be confident. He said the experience he gained in cross country last fall should help him.
“The high school students have been very supportive and proud and my parents and family have wished me the best of luck. I just will run confident and run hard.”
Alex Hackett only joined the track team this year. He said he will be scared and nervous at the regional because he’s never been a part of something like this before.
“Track takes a lot of work. All of the guys work hard. I think we all have the mind set of getting better, getting stronger and getting faster,” he noted.
Sills also ran cross country and competed in the state finals in Tallahassee. He said the team is not intimidated by any situation because they have competed against the best runners in the state.
“We know our limitations. We all know we can improve our times. We just have a mindset of pushing ourselves harder than we think we’re capable of running. It is not a race for the slow person. It is basically a sprint from the start to the finish.”
Sills also thanked his family, his teammates and his coach for their help this year. He also said it is an honor to represent Okeechobee High and appreciated the support and kind words of his classmates.
Coach Smith also wanted to thank all of the parents who were very supportive at the track meets this year.

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