Athlete of the week: Ben Wilson

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Athlete of the week: Ben Wilson

Junior Ben Wilson poses for the camera before his race at the Spartan Invitational on March 28.

Junior Ben Wilson poses for the camera before his race at the Spartan Invitational on March 28.

Matthew Fisher

Junior Ben Wilson poses for the camera before his race at the Spartan Invitational on March 28.

Matthew Fisher

Matthew Fisher

Junior Ben Wilson poses for the camera before his race at the Spartan Invitational on March 28.

Alexander Haack, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Ben Wilson is a junior at Pleasant Valley and has been on the high school track and field team since he was a freshman. His work ethic and competitiveness have mustered praise from both coaches and teammates, and he is committed to improving himself and others around him.

In addition to his participation in track and field, Wilson plays wide receiver for the football team and has played football for seven years. However, as soon as the football season ends, Wilson begins preparing for track, taking part in running workouts every other day and continuing with weightlifting.

Senior hurdler and teammate Porter Cottrell opened up about Wilson’s practice schedule and collaborative ability. “Ben is one of the hardest working kids I know,” he said. “He does drills with the hurdle crew, but he also stays afterwards to work on his 400 meter low hurdles. He puts his team event first and then he practices his individual event.”

Wilson has become an integral part of the team’s hurdle crew and placed 21st in the 400 meter hurdles at last year’s state meet. What makes this feat even more impressive is that he accomplished it as a sophomore. Last year, he was also a part of the shuttle hurdle relay team that ran at State. He continues to participate in both of these events this year.

This season, Wilson is among the top sixteen 400 meter hurdlers in the state and qualified for the Drake Relays in both that event and the shuttle hurdle relay. Qualifying for Drake is an accomplishment that every track athlete strives for, and Wilson shared his emotions on making it. “It feels like a dream to make Drake. I never would have thought I’d make Drake as a junior,” he said.

The Drake Relays took place on April 18 through 20 in Des Moines, Iowa. There, Wilson placed 15th in the 400 meter hurdles and achieved an 11th place finish with his shuttle hurdle relay team. He hopes to return to Drake Stadium for the State Meet in May and improve his times in both of these events.