Freshmen Bryan Haney said he is placing focus on running towards a position on the track team here at West. Haney broke the middle school hurdle record.
At first, Haney said he was unsure about track. His limited interest in the sport came from watching his older sister, senior Jessica Haney at her track meets.
“My sister has the high jump record at the middle school. So everyone always said, ‘oh your sisters a track star, you should do track too.’ So, I just decided to go out and see how it went and it turned out really well,” Haney said.
Haney’s sister, senior Jessica Haney, said she knew he had the talent. “I encouraged him to do it because I had done it and broken the school record so I thought since he was such a good athlete that he could do amazing things too,” Jessica Haney said.
Jessica Haney wasn’t the only one who believed Haney could prevail in track. Eighth grade track coach Michael Walker said he noticed Haney right away. “I knew Bryan had talent, but to learn a new sport like hurdles doesn’t come naturally to most people. He just knew how to win in the event,” Walker said.
With this “natural talent,” Haney began to get favorable results. “He was successful in all meets, but the inner athlete in him was never happy unless he was always getting a personal best. That is not only difficult but near impossible,” Walker said.
Haney was not only outrunning rival schools in meets but also Summit Lakes Middle School records. Previously, the 110 hurdles record was held by Senior Vonzell Kelly.
“I beat the 110 hurdles record. The best time that I got was a 12.9 but it was a shuttle record so they didn’t count it because it was a relay, but they put a 13.3 up as my record. Vonzell’s was 14.1,” Haney said.
Haney said Kelly has always been a motivation for Haney. Although he said he does not know Kelly personally, he has always looked up to him.
Haney said he strives to make the junior varsity team this year. However, there are differences between high school and middle school track. A major difference is the height of the hurdles.
Walker has confidence in Haney’s ability. “Bryan is an exceptional athlete. He has immense natural talent that most athletes would love to have. He has a relentless work ethic that pushes him over the athletes that just rely on talent. He is truly coachable,” Walker said. “Varsity is completely different, but Bryan will rise to the level.”