June 14, 2017 12:42 PM
(ABC 6 News) – The MSHSL state girls and boys track & field meet is quickly approaching, and it’ll feature many southeast Minnesota athletes, as well as a few first-timers, like Triton High School junior runner Courtney West.
West is someone who simply loves to run…a lot—her head coach, Bruce Huber, even said she’s “addicted to running”, and she’s also “intense, driven to succeed, and loves to compete”. “She could compete in a 5k every single day,” Huber said.
On the track for the Cobras, West competes in the 3200 and 1600 meter runs—she’s lowered her 3200 meter school record down 24 seconds from last year, and has lowered her 1600 meter time by eight seconds. “She’s just kind of blown the top off of it,” Huber said. “She’s the hardest working young lady I’ve ever coached.”
“The more I run, the more I gain new perspectives,” West said. “Running is hard, and that gives you an opportunity to excel and that gives you an opportunity which other people can’t or won’t.”
Huber said West has “made herself into an athlete” the past few years, noting that West has only improved since her freshman season, and has developed into an elite runner. “She really exploded over the winter,” Huber said. “She ran, snow or freezing or whatever, she was out putting in the miles.”
West will compete in the Class A state track & field meet in the 3200 (Friday) and 1600 (Saturday) meter races. She nearly reached the state track meet as a sophomore and nearly reached the state cross country meet this past fall, so Friday and Saturday will be her first time ever competing at a state meet. “I wasn’t necessarily over the moon (when I clinched a spot at state),” West said. “I was just like ‘ok, it’s finally here’.”
With being a distance runner, West said it takes “lots of mental preparation” and focus before each race she competes in. “(Finishing) is absolutely one of the most difficult things I have to do,” West said. “I try to make sure I have all the tools I need to be ready for a run and I’m in the right mindset. There’s pain, sure, but pain goes away. I’ve learned to tolerate the pain and work my way up.”
West has a work ethic which separates herself from everyone else on the track—she follows a training program outlined by Kasson-Mantorville Cross Country and Track & Field head coach Jared Pittman in the offseason, which she said has helped her become a star on the track. “Alone, I am really not that much different than any other runners from our section,” West said. “I put in work in the offseason. I think that has just made a huge payoff for me, and I’ve been able to see the results.”
That work and the results from that work has led her all the way to state.
The state track & field meet is at Hamline University in St. Paul. West is slated to race in the 3200 meter run at 6:28 p.m. on Friday; she’s scheduled to race in the 1600 meter run at 5:13 p.m. on Saturday.
Updated: June 14, 2017 12:42 PM
Created: June 07, 2017 05:38 PM
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