Track was supposed to be something that kept Leighton Lanier busy, but after ranking among the top Class 1A triple jumpers, it’s become so much more.
When Lanier joined the Cascade Christian High track and field team last year as a sophomore, it was supposed to be a sport and time of year the Cougar basketball player used to keep in shape. It was meant to build his endurance and fitness during the offseason months.
It’s become so much more since then.
“Last year I came in with the thought that track would be used to help me improve my (basketball) game. I thought it would help me stay in shape and build up my endurance,” Lanier said. “It was my first year (in track), and I didn’t think about it more than that.”
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Last year I came in with the thought that track would be used to help me improve my (basketball) game. I thought it would help me stay in shape and build up my endurance.
With Lanier now ranked 10th in 1A in the triple jump (41 feet, 4 3/4 inches), those thoughts are changing.
There just might be something with this track and field thing after all.
“Maybe,” Lanier joked. “I mean, I still consider myself a basketball player first, but I feel like I’m starting to see what others are seeing. I still feel like I still can improve though with last year my first season. I’m getting there, though.”
“I put my faith in the Lord and try to jump as high as I can.”
Lanier has been a natural for the track and field team.
With simple goals to improve himself, so much more has been happening for the junior. His triple jump distance ranks second in the district behind Port Townsend junior Seren Dances (43 feet, 4 inches). He’s ranked third in both the high jump (5 feet, 9 inches) and long jump (20 feet, 1/2 inch).
“He’s starting to look the part of one,” Cascade Christian coach Devin Snyder said about Lanier becoming one of the Cougars’ premier track athletes. “He’s such a natural athlete, he’s been able to make incredible improvement from last year to this year.”
A natural that has become one of the top track stars for the Cascade Christian boys team.
Even with the strong results so far, is Lanier ready to make the complete switch from basketball to track?
It’s always been about using the track season to improve my jumps and my endurance. But I don’t know how I’ll feel about it next year.
“No, not yet,” Lanier said with a laugh. “It’s always been about using the track season to improve my jumps and my endurance. But I don’t know how I’ll feel about it next year.”
But first it’s reaching the podium this year, marking Lanier’s emergence in Cascade Christian track.
“That’s the top goal, placing in state,” he said.