VANDALIA — For Butler High School senior and boys’ track team member Austin Whisman, running is mental.
“My greatest strength is my mind. Running is 95 percent mental toughness and five percent physical toughness. Knowing that I can do anything I set my mind to really helps me get through races very competitively,” Whisman said.
And Whisman is competitive, placing in all of the early meets this season. He runs the 200, 400 and 800 meter dashes and the relays that accompany those distances. He qualified for districts last year and is looking to return to the meet again this season. His other goal this season is to improve his leadership skills.
“As an underclassmen, I have always tried to lead by example. But this year being one of the few seniors on the track team, I hope to take a more vocal leadership role and help my team as much as possible,” Whisman said.
Track Coach Greg Bergman sees Whisman as a positive influence on the members of the track and field team.
“Austin brings consistent leadership. He clearly is dependable and leads by example. Austin’s strength is his work ethic,” Bergman said.
As the team heads toward the crucial end of the season, Whisman says it’s up to him to see how far he will go.
“I love the philosophy of track being you versus yourself in races. If you win or lose, it is based upon yourself. You can’t blame anyone except for yourself,” Whisman said.
Reach the Vandalia-Butler City Schools at 415-6400.