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ALL-AREA BOYS WINTER TRACK: Foxes’ senior unleashed his potential
Sprinters are oftentimes known for their brashness. Even if they aren’t a bit cocky, they are far from meek.
That’s not the case with King George senior Davion Hutt.
When Hutt stepped to the starting blocks in the 55-meter dash at the Group 4A state meet last month at Liberty University, he had little to no belief he would win. Hutt envisioned finishing behind Handley’s Dontae Mauck and perhaps a few others, as well.
So after he captured the state championship by completing the race in 6.47 seconds, Hutt didn’t know how to react.
“I’d have to say it was pretty shocking and unexpected because I was going in as the third seed and last year I didn’t even make finals,” Hutt said. “I wasn’t expecting to get to finals this year, but since I did I figured all I could do was place. I was definitely not expecting to win.”
Hutt’s unexpected victory earned him Free Lance–Star boys track and field athlete of the year. He admitted his confidence is still “a work in progress” because “I really don’t think I’m that fast.”
King George coach Rudy Pekarek believes Hutt is just beginning to tap into his potential. He said once Hutt began to focus on running straight ahead without looking around at his competitors, he began to blossom.
“That helps a lot, actually, because I guess when I raced people just as fast or faster I got intimidated,” Hutt said. “I’d get nervous about it and it would take a toll on my legs. My legs would start to feel heavier and I had a hard time running as fast I could.”
Hutt said once Pekarek pointed that out to him, he began to “focus on my own race.” Pekarek also instructed Hutt not to stand around and watch other runners perform their heats. The veteran coach said when Hutt did that in 2013 he tensed up and failed to qualify for finals.
“He hadn’t been on the big stage before,” Pekarek said. “I think he got unglued. He just froze. He didn’t get off the blocks well. He had a poor race.
“This year I wanted him to do something different. He needed to walk around, get loose and get that nervous energy out of him. He did that, and what happened was very sweet.”
Hutt became the first state champion sprinter Pekarek has ever coached. Pekarek said that’s not bad for a kid who just joined the track and field program last season, as a junior.
Hutt said friends had told him he was fast but he never thought of track as a serious sport that could potentially earn him a college scholarship. Hutt is being recruited by William & Mary, and wants to compete there.
“I was just thinking momentarily,” Hutt said. “Going into high school, I was more concerned about football and then I had a point where I was lazy and didn’t want to do anything at all. In 11th grade, I opened up to more people and they told me to join the track team.”
Hutt said this past indoor season was important because it helped alleviate some of the disappointment from his senior year of football. He began the fall as a starting safety for the Foxes but lost his position toward the end of the year.
“I was actually doing well at the beginning of the season, but I started losing focus,” Hutt said. “That put me on second string, then third string. They were putting people in front of me, so I was just ready to start the track season.”
Even though Hutt has secured his first state title, he said it won’t be easy to duplicate in the spring. He said he doesn’t have as much experience running the 100 meters, but added that he does feel stronger toward the end of the 55.
He said competitors have already told him he won’t be a state champion at the end of the spring, and he’s not about to disagree with them. After all, the understated approach worked well in the winter.
“I’m just trying to stay humble,” Hutt said.
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