Sanger senior Jacob Perry entered spring feeling like something was missing.
One of the state’s best long-distance runners was coming off a lackluster finish at the Class 3A state cross country meet, and on top of that, he settled for bronze in the 3,200 meters at the state track and field meet.
When he got to this year’s track season, he put all his trust in the workouts and competitions he had been running in, hoping to replace last year’s third-place medal with something better.
The future Texas A&M runner didn’t come home from this year’s state meet with just one medal that bested bronze. He came home with two.
In his final high school track meet, Perry won gold in the 3,200 and silver in the 1,600.
Perry’s strong finish on the backstretch of his Sanger career made him the clear choice as the Denton Record-Chronicle’s spring sports MVP.
“I decided that I wasn’t going to disappoint myself in the last races of my senior career,” Perry said, “so I decided that I wasn’t going to make any mistakes, anything I was going to regret in the future because I can’t go back to that moment. I did the best I could, and it worked out well.”
Perry’s best efforts were the envy of many across the state. Perry defeated future A&M teammate, Decatur’s Taylor Clayton, in the 3,200 with a time of 9:30.73. Clayton finished just ahead of Perry in the 1,600.
Perry said closing out his time at Sanger with a strong finish was a huge motivating factor, especially after a disappointing 10th-place finish at the state cross country meet. That disappointment fueled Perry through district, regionals and eventually to state, where Perry found himself in podium spots he was unable to attain as a junior.
The competition Perry faced at the state meet in Austin gave the Sanger graduate a glimpse of what he will face when he heads to College Station this fall.
“It’s great,” Perry said. “It’s going to be a whole new world. So many more guys will be way faster than me, so I have to make that transition so I can get up to those top guys.”