PENDLETON, Ind. — PENDLETON — This past season, the Pendleton Heights boys track team was saddled with replacing several graduated seniors.
Junior Zach Taylor was among the leaders who filled the roles and as a result, Zach is the 2014 Herald Bulletin Boys Track Athlete of the Year.
Taylor ran in the 100 and 200 meter dashes as a freshman in 2012, but did not run track as a sophomore due to injury issues. Flash forward to the spring of 2014 and Taylor was among the fastest sprinters in the area.
“I wanted to get back in shape and try to win meets,” said Taylor of his goals for the year. “By the end of the year I was looking forward to going to state but I didn’t quite make it.”
“Zach is a tremendous athlete,” said Pendleton Heights coach Ryan Potter. “He works hard. He is a leader by example, working hard in practice and being on time.” Zach was the county champion in the 100-meter dash and took titles in the Pendleton Invitational and the sectional, with his times improving in each meet.
His time of 11.55 in the County dropped to 11.39 in the Invitational and 11.09 in the sectional. He ran an 11.38 in the regional against strong competition. “It is very good competition at the regional, probably the fastest in the state,” said Taylor. “A lot of them go on to be top five in the state.” The 11.38 was just off the state standard time of 11.14 needed to qualify for the state finals.
Zach won the 200-meter dash at the Pendleton Invitational and the sectional but lost to Lapel’s Dalton Busch at the County. Busch’s 23.21 time was a county record. In the regional, Taylor matched his sectional run of 22.58. It was only good enough for sixth place, showing the level of competition at the regional.