COVID-19 doesn’t stop senior Gage Pratt from improving for his final high school track season
It’s a cold morning in February at Purdue Fort Wayne, and the end of the indoor track season is near. Senior Gage Pratt gets ready to compete in the 60 meter and 200-meter dash at the Indiana Runner Indoor Invitational. He blows past his competition, once again, and finishes in first in both events.
Little did Pratt know that this would be the last time he ran for seven months. When COVID-19 hit, the entire school track season was canceled.
“After the pandemic and after track was cancelled, I continued to go see one of my personal trainers,” Pratt said. “So, I see him six days a week, and I just kept doing that”
Pratt was eventually able to compete in some things once the pandemic lessened, the most notable being the AAU Junior Olympic Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. where he set a new PR for the 200-meter dash, running a 21.72.
“You see talent from everywhere, and its just a really cool experience” Pratt said. “It’s really cool to run against all these athletes from all over the country”
On top of being a superb sprinter, Pratt has also shown what it takes to be a leader on the HSE track team, with coaches and teammates praising his work ethic and leadership.
“We look for guys who are selfless leaders, and Gage does a great job of setting an example with that,” Said Brian Akialis, the track and field coach at HSE. “He gives a great effort with whatever he is asked to do and is constantly looking for ways to be a great teammate and help support the guys around him however he can.”
Even though COVID-19 abruptly cut his junior season short, Pratt is still focused on his athletic goals for the future.
“My goals for the indoor season, I want to win state, and I want to go undefeated in the 60 meter and the 4×2,” Pratt said. “I am planning on continuing in college, and I hope to go pro”
A global pandemic did not stop Pratt’s determination and work ethic, and he will continue working to his ultimate goal.