Salute to Seniors: Dante Lingley

Name: Dante Lingley

School: Westbrook High School

What was your most memorable race/meet?

I'd say my most memorable race would be running 11.11 in the 100m dash at Southwesterns.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

Some big competition of mine would be Issac Ofielu, Antonio Ciccomacini, and Owen Podolec.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment would be working my way up from being almost 300th in the whole state freshman year for the 100m dash, to becoming tied for third in the state with Samacha Sam last year.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school?

I wouldn't change anything about my career in high school. I'm very proud and happy with how far I've come and the things I've achieved.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I'd say the most challenging obstacle that I've had to overcome was the injuries that I've had during my first two years of high school track-and just overcoming that mental obstacle of keeping my head up when thinking that these injuries were going to keep me back from working hard and becoming a better sprinter.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the people. The bonds and friendships that have been created during these four years. I'm going to miss not having to be able to finish off my last outdoor season.

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

My advice for younger athletes is just never to give up. Whenever you feel like nothing's going to change, or you won't improve as an athlete, to trust the work that you are doing every day to get better. Being patient is a huge key to getting better. Don't expect that if you work hard for just one week or so that you will improve significantly on your performance. You must be patient and wait. Your time will come. And remember why you started in the first place.

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

My coach Clayton Conrad was like a second father to me. When I told him that I wanted to become one of the top sprinters in the state, he helped me with what I needed to become a better athlete, not only physically, but mentally. He pushed me out of my limit so many times that It all out made me a much better athlete. Without his extremely hard and annoying workouts, I wouldn't have become the athlete I am today. Coach Lally played a huge role in helping me out. She gave me a lot of helpful workouts for me to do during the offseason and recommended a lot of people and places to go to train. She has been so helpful as a coach, and I am so thankful to both Coach Conrad and Coach Lally for giving me the most support over the years in shaping me to who I am today.

How do you feel about missing your senior season due to the coronavirus?

Missing my senior season impacted me in a very harsh way. It is so hard to wake up every morning to stay home knowing that I am not gonna get up for school to then finish my day to practice with my team. It hurts. It hurts a lot to know that I won't be finishing my last year of outdoor. No more high school meets. No more annoying meets with freezing cold weather. No more feeling that excitement of tough competition during big meets. And just not having that last bonding moment with fellow senior competitors in our last year. It's hard that the season has gone to an end like this. I really wish it didn't have to be like this.

What are your college plans?

My main plan for college is to get stronger and faster than what I was the year before, and to keep on improving each year, and better myself as an athlete.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

I would like to say thank you to all my coaches and teammates, and my mom and the person I hear cheer me on in every race, which is my little sister Bella, and lastly, I wanna thank all my fellow competitors who I've competed with all these four years.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

The last thing I wanna say is for all my fellow seniors. Even though our season has come to an abrupt end, just know that we are all here for each other because what we are going through is very real, and we can all relate to it. And yes. This is very sad and hard to go through. But don't forget about the four extra years that are given to us to make up for that one season that we've missed. And that we have four extra years to see how far we can push ourselves as an athlete.

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