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Four BeastMode runners compete at State

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By CATRINA FRANCIS

Three runners from Fort Knox’s Scott Middle School and one from Macdonald Elementary School participated in the Kentucky Middle School Track and Field State Championship June 3 at the University of Louisville.

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Malik Blunt, Jordan Lovett, Manual Marrero of SMS and Bycen Goode of MES are members of BeastMode track team, which is coached by
1st Sgt. Brandon Butler, the first sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Garrison Command.

Butler said he’s been fortunate to coach young men who met the state qualifications to compete in the state meet.

“These young men were already on the BeastMode track team, and fortunate for them, they all went to the same school (except one of them),” he said. “These young men consisted of three eighth-graders and one fifth-grader.”

Butler said all except two of the athletes had one year of running track and the others had none.

“I’m incredibly proud and excited for these young men to have achieved something of great recognition (on) such a big stage,” he said. “I (tell) a lot of our middle schoolers hard work is key to their success now and within the near future. Hopefully this is good.”

Blunt, a second-year runner on the team, competed in the 200- and 400-meter dash. He said that he began running because he needed a sport and didn’t have anything to do during the summer. So he decided to run track.

Although Blunt prefers football, he’s found success on the track.

“I used to (have a) funky form but it has gotten better,” said Blunt. “I (have taken) everything coach has taught me to help my endurance when I run. You see people huffing and puffing and for me it’s a piece of cake.”

Lovett, a second-year runner, competed in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash during the State meet. He began running track to help with conditioning for football.

“In Germany I ran (track) but didn’t take it serious,” he said.

Marrero, another two-year runner, competed in the 200-, 400- and 800-meter dash at the State meet. Like Blunt he didn’t want to have an unproductive summer.

“My dad’s friend told me I should join the track team,” explained Marrero. “I plan to stick (with) track, play soccer, run cross-country and my dad wants me to play basketball (when I get to Fort Knox High School).”

The three middle schoolers ran in the 4x200- and 4x400-meter relay races.

Even though the four competed in the State meet, only two medals. Lovett placed first in the 200-meter dash and second in the 400-meter dash. Blunt placed fourth in the 100-meter dash, second in the 200-meter dash and first in the 400-meter dash.

Competing at the State meet was a new experience for the runners but they learned lifelong lessons. Marrero said he learned runners will do anything to be in first place.

“(They) will run in front of people (and that) affected my race,” explained Marrero.

Blunt said competing taught him to remain focused on what he was doing and not think about other runners.

“If you mess up in your race never look to your left or right (because) you will lose,” he said. “Always run your own race and don’t look at other people.”

Lovett said he learned that if he lost he couldn’t focus on that loss because he had to think about the remaining races.

“I was running the 400-(meter dash), tripped and finished fourth,” Lovett said. “I (had to remember) I had two more races. Like Malik said, ‘run your own race.’”