Faster than a speed­ing bul­let

Knight earns Chick- fil- A Prep Ath­lete of the Week

The Covington News - - SPORTS - By Ja­son Mur­dock

If the school col­ors for New­ton High School were red and yel­low, Travis Knight would no doubt be nick­named “The Flash” or “The Scar­let Speed­ster.”

Nev­er­the­less, “Blue Streak” or “Blue Blast” will have to do for now, as blue and white are the col­ors of the Rams.

On Satur­day, Knight won the boys cross coun­try in­di­vid­ual re­gion ti­tle with a per­sonal best time of 17 min­utes and 36 sec­onds. As a re­sult, the se­nior helped pro­pel his team to the state cham­pi­onships this week­end in Car­roll­ton for the fourth con­sec­u­tive year in a row.

“Well, he set a per­sonal record and that’s al­ways what you’re look­ing for,” said New­ton head coach Aaron Robin­son, “so, we’re re­ally happy about that. It was a tough com­pe­ti­tion, but Travis ran a great race.”

Based on his per­for­mance, Knight has been se­lected as the Chick-fil-A Prep Ath­lete of the Week.

“It feels good,” re­marked Knight of his un­prece­dented feat. “It’s been three years in the mak­ing. Our old coach (Scott Rains) got me started in cross coun­try, and I’m re­ally glad he did. If it hadn’t been for him I would have never been here; I wouldn’t take any­thing back.”

Knight has run track since the sev­enth grade, but has been run­ning cross coun­try since his sopho­more year. How­ever, the 18-year-old has been run­ning on his own since he was 10.

“It’s a big team sport and I like the team as­pect,” said

Knight. “I fig­ured I’d give it a shot and it ended up be­ing a big thing for me. It’s a big part of my life now.”

Knight be­gan the day of the re­gion meet just like any other day, ex­cept this time around he was more men­tally pre­pared than any other pre­vi­ous race.

“Well, I woke up pretty early and ate a good break­fast,” re­called Knight. “I knew what I had to do, and it was my last shot to do it be­ing a se­nior. So, I had to make sure I left noth­ing out there and didn’t hold any­thing back.”

He didn’t. In fact, he set the ta­ble for the most im­por­tant week­end of his rac­ing ca­reer, and per­haps some­thing bet­ter to come for the Rams.

“I just want to break that 17:36 time that I ran here last week­end,” said Knight, “be­cause state is a fast race and there will be a lot of guys run­ning fast. I just want to go out with a per­sonal best since this is my last cross coun­try race in high school.”

Knight cur­rently has sev­eral col­leges in­ter­ested in him, in­clud­ing Ge­or­gia Col­lege and State Univer­sity, Milledgeville and Gor­don. Aca­dem­i­cally, Knight sus­tains A’s and B’s and has a grade point av­er­age above 3.0.

“I think my par­ents do a re­ally good job,” said Knight. “They’ve taught me to never re­ally give up for what you want to do, and that no one else can do it but you. If you want it bad enough, go get it.”

That cer­tainly proved true dur­ing the re­gion meet, in which Knight out­lasted ev­ery­body else. And come Satur­day, “Blue Blast” is look­ing for the same kind of re­sult.

Along with his par­ents and Rains, Robin­son and as­sis­tant coach Ed­die Hood have re­ally helped de­velop Knight as a top con­tender.

“Travis was in the best shape I’ve ever seen him at the start of the sea­son,” praised Robin­son. “The way he’s per­form­ing now is be­cause of all the train­ing he did over the sum­mer. Now he’s even in bet­ter shape and the po­ten­tial for him is just un­lim­ited.”

Ja­son Mur­dock/The Cov­ing­ton News


Travis Knight is the Chick-fil- A Prep Ath­lete of the Week.

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