Peninsula High track coach Curtiss Hall tells his sprint athletes that the sound of the starting gunshot, a bang, “Starts with a B and ends with a G.”
For senior sprinter Ian Collins, he’s focusing on going on the B, not the G.
“The start is the most important part of the race,” Collins said. “If you have a bad start, you’re probably going to lose, unless you’re Usain Bolt.”
At this point, little details will likely make the difference for Collins in his final high school track season, as he took seventh in the Class 3A 200-meter last year as a junior. He’s currently ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3A for the event this season.
“(Taking seventh) was pretty great,” Collins said. “It was a wonderful experience running at state. I’m excited for it this year. I’m going for first this year.”
He said there’s some pressure with being ranked that high, but he won’t let it affect his racing performance.
“I can’t let it get to me,” he said. “It’s pretty cool but I’m not going to let it get to my head. All that matters is what happens out here, on the track.”
And so Collins divested a lot of time in the offseason working on his start, and competed in cross country to improve his endurance for the 400. But to get first in the 200, or even the 100, he knows his start will have to be flawless.
The second the gun goes off, you should be going. A lot of amateurs hear it and then go. We’ve been working a lot on the starts. The timing is huge and then the form right off the start.
Ian Collins, Peninsula senior sprinter
“The second the gun goes off, you should be going,” Collins said. “A lot of amateurs hear it and then go. We’ve been working a lot on the starts. The timing is huge and then the form right off the start.”
If all goes right, there’s a chance Collins could find himself at the top of the podium at Mount Tahoma Stadium at the state meet later this spring.
“That’d be incredible,” he said. “That’s my No. 1 goal for the season. It’d be amazing.”