Dylan Hambright: Turning Disappointment Into Determination!

Arcadia senior Dylan Hambright was the top 400 runner throughout the 2010 and 2011 seasons.  Undefeated in Arizona Dylan was on the verge of dropping under his 48.00 PR with the #1 prelim time at the State Meet heading into the finals.   The flu kept him from competing in the finals and for any athlete who has worked toward a specific goal, it can be very difficult to sit on the sidelines and watch the race go on without you.   After talking with Dylan for a brief moment at the Meet of Champions, I asked him if he would share his feelings about missing the State Meet Finals...........he politely agreed and here is what he wrote.



"Without struggle there can be no progress” 

                               ~ Frederick Douglas ~



Hey Milesplit, 

It’s been a year of many ups and downs in my track season but I have nothing to complain about. I am now finally getting healthy from a terrible flu and I am signed to a wonderful college University Of Montana. I also have amazing support from the track community and my wonderful parents.  This season is something I’ll remember forever.


It really kicked off for me with my second win at the Chandler Rotary.  It was something that I worked so hard on. I was just coming off of a hamstring pull from the summer and I was finally feeling healthy again. It felt even better to hear that I was the first one from my school history to win that meet back to back. It’s always an honor to compete at the Chandler Rotary invite. A meet like that is something I’ll tell my kids about.



Dylan Hambright (Center: at the start of the 400 prelims at the Chandler Rotary)


Furthermore, the Sun Angel Classic was right around the corner and boy I was pumped! I qualified first in the prelims and later that night I decided to get some speed work in so I did the 200 meters. I was coming back in the race and I felt my hamstring tighten up like the last time I pulled it. The next day I went to my physical therapist and he said “If you don’t feel right to run…. don’t.” So I took that in consideration. Later that day I went for a jog and it felt a little tight. The morning of the finals came and the weather was cold rainy. I talked it over with my parents and coaches and we all decided I shouldn’t run that day to avoid injury. Cold weather....... tight hamstrings............ running the 400…........just doesn’t add up to a good end result. The season had to move on!


A week or two of therapy on my hamstring, endless ice baths and tough workouts............. and I felt better than ever. I was setting meet record after meet record. I was ready to go under 48!  Finally I went to our “region meet” and I ran 48.00.  I was sure that day I was going 47 because I never felt stronger. But that didn’t bring me down.


I would just get it at state!


 My training was going great and I was ready for fast times..........State was here.  I cruised through the prelims and I was seeded first for Saturday’s big event.


I woke up that morning of state feeling just horrible.  I was not myself. My stomach was upside down and my complextion was pale and almost yellow but I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way, ” I have to run” I said to myself.  Later on in the afternoon I was pulling a 102-103 temperature and I realized I was in trouble.  I showed up to state anyway.  While warming up I felt light headed and sweaty and worst of all........achy.  I couldn’t even see straight.  I then realized 'my health is more important right now and I shouldn’t be here.'  


While driving back home I was at an all-time low. Everything I trained for was going to waste but I just kept saying in my head “it’s just one race… it’s just one race”.   My parents supported my decision which helped tremendously and after throwing up and running a temperature all night I am almost glad I didn’t run. I needed to try to get healthy again for my next race the Meet of Champions.  I missed a couple of days of training and lost a couple of pounds (10 to be exact) and my health was slowly coming back to me throughout the week. 


I ran a good race (at the Meet of Champions) but Brian (Canavan of Notre Dame) edged me at the end (photo left).  I still ran a good time for the state I was in and I was more than happy about that. Plus losing only makes you better and stronger in the long run. I am looking forward to my next two meets. I am feeling a lot better (gaining that weight back…yum protein shakes) and my legs feel fresh.


My next races are going to be a lot of fun becaue I am going to anchor the 4x400 and lead off the 4x200 at the Great Southwest in New Mexico with an amazing squad.  The squad will have some amazing athletes such as, Trea Armstrong, Devon Allen, and the last spot is still in the making I believe. I will be running the open 400 as well. My last race will be the open 400 in California at the Golden West Invitational. This year has had its ups and downs but it’s all a part of being an athlete. I feel like I have learned a lot and accomplished a lot on and off the track.  My struggles have made me a better athlete and person. I want to thank my parents for always being there for me. Through my four year varsity track and field career they didn’t miss one track meet not even a duel. I also want to thank my coaches, especially coach Reniewicki and all of my advisors and teachers who helped me fulfill my college aspirations.  I want to thank Margot Kelly for her dedication toward track and field and finally I want to thank all of my friends for being there for me.


It’s been a wonderful time in high school track and especially in Arizona where I went 42-1 in the 400 meters.


~ Dylan