At last year’s state track meet Mountain Pointe’s Travonn White was flying high, while Desert Vista’s Dylan Fischer picked the worst time to come up short.
White won the long jump and helped the Pride to the state record in the 4x100 and while Fischer finished third in the discus, he didn’t place in the shot put after coming in as the top seed.
This season has been just about the opposite as Fischer, driven by the bad shot performance, is ranked in the top 25 in the nation in both events, while White struggled to get on track because of grades.
What does it mean come Wednesday when the state track meet gets under way? Depends on who you ask. More than any other the sport track is about being great for one singular moment.
Fischer has been getting stronger by the week and leads the state in the discus with an effort of 187-1 (23 best in the nation) and the shot put at 61-2 (18th best in the nation).
For him it is about the process, refining and making sure he doesn’t duplicate last year’s slip up, and finishing strong.
“I didn’t compete well at state my sophomore year and last year (as a junior) it didn’t go well,” Fischer said. “It’s really hard to explain why it happen, but it is my No. 1 motivation right now.”
Desert Vista throw coach Ross Walker said it is clear that the poor shot performance, when Fischer fouled out, had an impact on Fischer.
“Dylan learned after last year’s state meet how to plan for adverse situations and recover,” Walker said. “After not competing well in the shot put, Dylan came back to throw a PR and place third in the discus. I really think this set the tone for Dylan’s senior year. He grew up a lot as a competitor after the state meet last year, and has taken that to heart as motivation going into his senior year.”
Fischer is headed to the Naval Academy where he will play football and possibly attempt track later in his career. The fact that he has been accepted to one of the nation’s prestigious service academies is the true indicator of Fischer’s approach to life and sports.
“For Dylan to be accepted into the Naval Academy proves his hard work, dedication, and commitment to school, athletics, team, family, and country,” Walker said. “Dylan will be a great addition to the Naval Academy. He will most certainly be the standard by which all other Desert Vista boys throwers will be measured by in years to come.”
White, on the other hand, was unable to use the regular season as developmental ground because he was ineligible. He was still working hard, but was unable to prove it competitively, and then in just three jumps he recorded the nation’s seventh best effort at the Tempe City Meet.
“It was frustrating because there was nothing I could do about what other people (were jumping) because I didn’t do my work (in the classroom),” White said. “I have the mentality I have to be No. 1. I couldn’t wait to get back on the track to prove it.”
And now that he has?
“It feels great and it is indescribable,” he said. “I still got it. I know I can do better and I am ready to put on a show at state.”
White feels he has turned the corner and learned how it feels to have something important taken away from him.
“I was not going to give up,” he said. “I was listening to what (coaches, teachers) had to say, good or bad. It sunk in.”
He feels he can make up for the entire season on the sidelines with a great performance, including helping the Pride and his running mates (Kejavon Moore, Paul Lucas and AJ Davalos) to breaking the 4x100 relay state mark they set last year.
“I believe we can,” he said. “We are definitely going make a run at it.”
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