Salute to Seniors Darryl Wilkinson South Portland HS
What was your most memorable race?
Junior year indoor, in the mile at states, I wasn't seeded to do much; I think I was seeded around 8th. I got out to a good start and kept pushing until I crossed the line. I finished 5th and was in shock when my coach ran over to me and told me that he thought I had a great chance at making New Englands. Turns out I did and it was one of my fondest memories of high school.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most?
Definitely winning the 800m at Southwesterns in indoor this year. That race had a tough field and I put so much pressure on myself that entire season and seeing it pay off like that really encouraged me to keep pushing myself.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
There are a lot of things that I would have changed. When I joined the team freshman year, I was awful. Like, really bad. I ran nearly 5:30 in the mile and 2:25 in the 800. All the kids were more developed than me and the training was far harder than what I experienced in middle school. Even sophomore year, things weren't changing much. I didn't get serious about track until my junior year. I wish I had done more training in the offseasons/summer to prepare myself for my senior year because it only comes once and it's already gone. Also, I would have done XC starting in 9th grade rather than playing soccer up until this year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Confidence. I can't say stress enough how important it is to be confident in your abilities. I had a major problem with that. I would doubt myself so often and make myself so nervous sometimes that I struggled to get up to the starting line. Once you become confident, track is pretty enjoyable.
What will you miss the most?
Easily the friendship. Track and XC are the only sports you can be a complete weirdo and still be accepted. I saw some kid wearing footie pajamas at the Indoor State meet this year and didn't think twice about it.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Don't take the time you have now for granted. Set your goals high and reach them. Every second you spend wasting the time you have, there is someone out there getting better than you. Be that person.
What advice have your coaches had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coaches always believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. They always made me feel like I could win every time I stepped out onto the track.
What are your college plans?
I'll be attending University of Maine to major in Secondary Education. Also, I'll be running XC and Track.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
Anyone who has affected me in any way throughout my career. From a handshake after a hard fought race, or a simple good luck, anyone who has reached out to me in a positive way is greatly appreciated.
Want to be featured in our Salute To Seniors series? Drop me a line: Dveilleux@milesplit.com and answer the questions above! Congratulations to the class of 2012 on all their hard work and success.