BLANKET — Competing for state championships in the spring has become a new Blanket tradition, and Tiger sophomore Logan Wheeler will attempt to earn two on the track during the UIL Track and Field State Championships.
Wheeler will compete in the UIL Class A boys 100 meters at 1:05 p.m. Saturday and the 200 meters at 2:25 p.m. Saturday at the University of Texas’ Myers Stadium. Wheeler won the Region III-A championship in each event.
“It’s honestly going to be such an amazing experience for me, being such a young athlete,” Wheeler said. “I’m excited and I’m ready. I’ve had a great coach, Coach (Brent) Williamson has pushed me to get where I am and where I’m going to be Saturday. I’m focused and looking forward to it.”
Wheeler captured the regional title in the 100 meters in a time of 11.46 and ran a 23.11 in the 200 meters to also bring home a regional gold medal.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised,” Wheeler said of his regional performances. “I’ve been working hard all year and I was satisfied with the outcome. I knew it was going to be tight and it was.”
Wheeler ranks seventh among regional qualifiers in both the 100 and 200 meters, but that isn’t quelling his hopes of bringing home a medal or two.
“Everyone there is fast, there is no slow person,” Wheeler said. “They’re all there for a reason. If I come in with my head on my shoulders and focused I have a chance of getting on the medal stand.”
Wheeler’s 11.46 in the 100 trails Rule’s Chase Thompson (11.08), Rankin’s Markus Black (11.33), Santa Anna’s Jake Smiley (11.34), Calvert’s Coylin Grimes (11.38), High Island’s Nate Jackson (11.41) and Channing’s Sean McCoy (11.44), while ranking ahead of Vernon Northside’s Ray Ditmore (11.6) and Mullin’s Dale Dontrell (11.66)
“I’d like to shoot for a new PR,” Wheeler said.” A 10.65 is my PR right now, but I’d like to run a 10.5.”
In the 200, Wheeler’s qualifying time of 23.11 is behind Rule’s Thompson (22.5), Santa Anna’s Smiley (22.75), Channing’s McCoy (22.77), Milford’s Damyan Woodward (22.95), Borden County’s Nick Proulx (22.97) and Valley’s Joe Carrera (23.0), while leading Calvert’s Coylin Grimes (23.17) and Strawn’s Julian Fraga (23.32).
“The 200 is going to be really close,” Wheeler said. “I was sitting first for a while. I’m really nervous about that one but I’m going to shoot for a low 22 and aim to beat the state record.”
As for what it would mean to earn a medal, or two, Wheeler said, “It would be awesome. It’s been a dream for me ever since I was a child. It would be satisfying to make everyone back home and Coach Williamson proud. I just have to stay focused, I can’t psych myself out. I just have to go in with the mentality that I’m going to win.”