Leaps of faith
By Mike Beas
At 5-foot-10-inches, 150 pounds, Danville senior Wyatt Dorsey leans more on precision than sheer power when it comes to any athletic success he experiences.
Take, for instance, Dorsey’s 16-step approach in the long jump.
Soaring a personal-best 20 feet, 4 inches in his most recent competition — the 2019 Avon Sectional — Dorsey, a sophomore at the time, meshed speed with technique to finish seventh. With the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out spring sports a year ago, Dorsey has had nearly two years to improve and is confident that he has.
The Warriors open the long-awaited season April 6 when they welcome Greencastle.
In Dorsey’s sights is the school long jump standard of 21 feet, 4 inches, set a few years ago by then-senior Zach Luken. He’ll also run the 800 and perhaps take part in the 400 as well as the 3,200-meter relay. As a sophomore Dorsey clocked a time of 2:17.22 in the 800 at sectional to place 15th.
An outstanding student (3.9 GPA), Dorsey coaches are asking him to help lead the Warriors. One of the team’s quieter participants, he’s doing so more by example than anything else.
“We missed last year and had a great squad with this great group of seniors,” said Sean Adams, Danville girls track and field coach who also coaches the boys middle-distance runners. “With those kids gone, Wyatt is being asked to be a leader this season. He’s just a hard worker in the weightroom and on the track.”
Dorsey remains undecided on where he’ll attend college but would like to major in natural resources and environmental science.
Dorsey did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: The 800-meter run has been called the most difficult event in track and field. Do you agree?
A: I definitely do feel that it is the hardest race. You’re sprinting the entire race. Two laps. I like to be able to say I do it, and it feels like an accomplishment whether I’ve won the race or not.
Q: Is it difficult going from running events to field events and vice versa during the course of a meet?
A: I’ve done it before where I’ve had to run the 100 meters and then go right back to long jump. It’s about being able to calm down and make sure you have the correct form.
Q: Now that it’s your final season of high school track and field, what will it take for you to feel as if you’ve had a successful season?
A: I definitely want to break the school record in the long jump and get to the state meet. It would be big. It’s something I’ve thought about since I started long jumping in the sixth grade. I’ve just always liked watching people long jump and the technique it takes to do it.