State Champion Spotlight: Zachary Beaton (Hermon HS)
What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?
Coming into the state meet, I knew that I needed to put in 110% for a chance to win a title. The week prior to states I took practice as serious as I could. I spent more time practicing basic things, such as my hurdle form or making sure my high jump and triple jump marks were as accurate as they could be. I spent a large majority of my time stretching and taking time to care for my muscles. Other than that I set my mind to what I wanted and that was a state title.
What was one thing that you focused on this winter that made a difference in your performance?
One thing I focused on mainly this season was my hurdling. Hurdling has always been my favorite event regardless of distance. I knew that there were some things wrong with my form, my starts, and the way I approached each hurdle. Along with the help of my coach, I was able to fix a majority of my mistakes. Placing second in the state meet last year became my fuel this year. I used that second place finish as motivation. This year I wanted to be the one to come out on top.
How to did you manage you energy levels competing in three events spread out across the day?
Competing in the events of Triple jump, High jump, and hurdles over the course of the season brought constant pain and tightness in my muscles. I had to learn to get used to the constant muscle fatigue of my legs. I learned different ways to cope with it. I learned to rest any time I could. If I had a break after my events I would use it to sit down and get off my feet. Resting became just as important as warming up. Participating in these events over the season made the state meet just like any other meet. This allowed me to contain and preserve my energy for where I needed to use it.
Whats it mean to you to be able to win three events at the state meet?
I never would have thought I would walk on the bus after the state meet with 3 state titles. It never really hit me until the morning after. I realized that the hard work and dedication I had put into the sport had paid off. The support from my coaches, teammates and family made something I thought seemed impossible into the possible. Winning 3 state titles at one meet meant so much to me. Track and field has become a huge part of my life, so being able to win 3 state titles brought me a feeling of satisfaction, and of pure joy.
Coming into the season what were your goals and did you achieve them?
I had many goals coming into this season. Ones that I set at the beginning of the season with the help of my coaches. My first goal was to jump at least 6 feet in the high jump. My personal best had been 5'10 so 6 feet was not far off. My second goal was to run a sub 8.00 in hurdles. My personal best from the previous indoor season had been in the 8.3 range. So that was not long shot either. These goals may not have seemed that hard to accomplish but they took a severe amount of hard work and determination. I was able to accomplish these goals and become a state champion in the process of it. This was my first season ever triple jumping. I had small goals throughout the season for triple jump, but I never expected to become a state champion.
What have your coaches meant to your success?
My two coaches mean the world to me. They have both shown me what it truly means to be a track and field athlete. The faith that my coaches have put in me is what allowed me to become a 3 time state champ. They exposed my true potential, and taught me so much that I didn't know. I could not have been able to stand on that podium at all if they had not become a part of my life. My coaches have shown me what it means to be a good team captain and overall a better person. Without my coaches Jeff and Dave, I wouldn't be the athlete or person that I am today.
Beaton's High Jump Progression
Beaton's 55m Hurdles Progression
Beaton's Triple Jump Progression