Rogers High School senior sprinter Tyree Fort is glad he has a second chance to attain his aspirations in his favorite event.
Fort, who placed eighth last May in the Class 4A 100-meter finals, is striving for the top spot on the podium this spring. He finished the event in 11.24 seconds during the Star Track event last year.
“I know it’s a huge stretch, but I’m trying to take first,” Fort said. “I know it’s going to take a lot of work, but I’m willing to put in the work and dedication to get there.”
Fort ran a personal-best 11.05 as a junior last year but didn’t reach his goal of breaking into the 10s. He’ll look to topple that challenge early this season.
“I was kind of disappointed in my time in the state finals, but I’ve just got to put all of that behind me and just focus on the now,” he said. “I want to break into the 10s in the first meet of the season, just to prove something to the district and to the state.”
Fort’s goal is to finish the event in 10.8 in the first meet, and he’s shooting for a 10.6 the rest of the way.
Fort’s father Tony clocked a 10.6 100-meter dash during his high school days in North Carolina.
“My dad has always been really supportive and is a huge motivator,” Fort said. “That is where all my motivation comes from. I want to beat his time.”
Fort said he has trained rigorously during the nine months since last year’s state track meet. He intends to take advantage of his opportunity to display blistering times in the 100 meters.
“I did a lot of work,” he said. “I focused on trying to stay flexible and did a lot of stretching and pool work. Pool work is good because it takes stress off my muscles and joints. I also tried to get in as many yoga sessions as I could.
“I have been in the weight room since November, too,” Fort added. “I feel like I have been getting closer and closer to my goals every day.”
Fort and Eric Simpson, Rogers’ 110-meter hurdler who won the state championship last season, are the vocal leaders of the Rams’ track and field team. Fort said they embrace that responsibility.
“I feel like Eric and I are the caretakers of the team,” he said. “We have a huge responsibility to get the sophomores into the groove of things and help them with everything we can so they can pick up where we left off after we graduate.”