After a day to think about winning his school’s first state title in any sport, Riverdale Ridge’s Braylen Fenderson said he was surprised.
Fenderson won the 100-meter dash in a time of this.
“I was really surprised about my success in track, considering I didn’t run track in the previous years,” he said. “I thought I was going to be running it for fun, but it became more than that.”
Fenderson, a senior, went into the state meet as the top seed in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
“There was a little pressure, not only because I would be the first one in my school to take first in state but also because it is my last year in high school and I wanted to go out with a bang,” he said. “I stayed interested because I hate to be last or to be the lesser one in the field. So I was determined to keep myself in shape if I was going to do track to put that space between me and my competition.”
Fenderson also took fourth in the 200-meter dash in a time of this. He joined … to take seventh in the 4-by-100-meter relay.
“State was crazy,” Fenderson said. “I knew there was going to be a lot of people. But because I never had been there, I couldn’t fully understand the size until I got there. There was a big difference between my version of ‘big’ and ‘state big.’ The competition was way different, a lot faster. So you had no room to make a mistake.”
Fenderson said he didn’t think about blocking out the noise from the state meet.
“My mind kinda did it naturally,” he said. “People asked, ‘Did I hear them yelling?’ and I responded with, ‘I only really hear my breathing when I run.’
There was a best part of state for Fenderson that was over and above winning a state title.
“The best part of my time at state was just the atmosphere and the different types of people and how some of them hold themselves in a win or a loss and how people interact with their competition,” he said. “I would say that track is more of my preferred sport. “I love football, but track takes less of a wear and tear on your body, and I feel it has more longevity than most other sports.”
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