Winning three state titles can be difficult for any athlete. Winning three over the span of two days is even more difficult, especially when they are the three longest races at the meet.
Three state championships was what Horizon Honors senior Trevor Tam had set his mind on heading into the AIA Division IV State Championship meet held recently at Mesa Community College.
And at the end of the second day of competition, Tam had taken the top spot on the podium for all three distance races, the 800 meter, 1600 meter, and 3200 meter.
He was stronger than ever in his senior year, setting personal records in all three races before his final outing at the state meet.
His 1600-meter personal record came back in March, when he ran a 4:27.43 at the Bourgade Small School Classic for his first first-place finish of the season.
Just under a month later, he set his personal record in the 800 meter race by clocking 1:58.39 at the 38th Sun Angel Track Classic.
Tam was a lock for both the 800-meter and the 1600-meter races at the state meet. But early in the season, the 3200 was still in question because he had just started running it the year before.
A week before the state meet, Tam ran a personal best clocking of 9:45.86 at the Desert Vista Last Chance Meet, setting the stage for the state meet.
“Since I was doing well in all three, I decided to try it at the state meet,” Tam said.
At the end of the first day, Tam was a two-time state champion after winning the 800-meter and 1600-meter races, both by less than a second. On the second day, while battling soreness from the previous day’s competition, Tam kept telling himself, “just one more race.”
Entering the final lap, Tam said he had about a five-foot lead on his closest competitor and at that point, he had a good feeling that he has going to run away with state title number three.
“It was right where I wanted to be,” Tam said. “At 200 meters, they were dropping back so I had a good feeling, I just had to make sure I didn’t mess it up somehow.”
Tam kicked into his final gear and won his final race of his senior year, beating Pinon’s Wesley Cook by seven seconds. It was a goal he had worked towards since the 8th grade when he first started running cross country at Horizon Honors. Now, he had accomplished a feat not many get a chance to.
“I felt so much happiness and joy,” Tam said. “I thought about all that training paying off. Like you think back about all the blood, sweat, and tears, that went into it and it makes it all worth, it’s probably the best feeling i’ve ever had.”
David Allison, who became Tam’s personal coach after his freshman year, was a witness to Tam’s blood, sweat and tears. He also had the opportunity to watch Tam accomplish something they had both set a goal for heading into his senior year.
“Nothing is ever guaranteed,” Allison said. “It’s difficult in general to do what he did, we both knew he could but you still have to go out and execute.”
Winning three races over a two-day span is something that Tam had never done over his four-year career at Horizon Honors. He had won two races in two days before but never three in the same span. He said he had to block out all the pain and soreness heading into the second day.
With Tam’s high school career behind him, he will head to the University of California at San Diego, where he plans to major in bioengineering and hopefully walk onto the track team.
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