Ian Collins knelt down in lane one Saturday before his race in the Class 3A 200-meter final at Mount Tahoma Stadium, soaking in his final race in his first weekend of state competition.
The ultimate outcome of the Peninsula High junior’s race Saturday — a seventh-place finish with a time of 23.10 seconds — wasn’t particularly what he was expecting.
Collins had never competed at the state level coming into this season. A defensive end and wide receiver for the football team, Collins uses track as a tool to keep him in shape and fine-tuned in the offseason, but says playing football has helped him on the track as well.
“I think (football) is a big part, actually,” Collins said. “Just all of the training, it’s nice to have something to do in the offseason.”
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Now that he’s had a taste of action at the state level, Collins is hungry for more and said he’s broadening his goals for next year, his last as a high school athlete.
“I’ve never gone to state before and this is such a great experience,” he said. “Right before, I went through my head and said, ‘Times don’t matter. What matters is what happens on the track. You can do whatever you want before, but nobody knows how you’re going to perform until afterward.’”
Collins’ aforementioned goals for next year concluded with a statement as bold as the PHS lettering on his track uniform.
“I’m not super happy with what happened,” Collins said. “But next year, I’m taking first.”