When it comes time for stretching, coaches and teammates see a different Timmric Barrett this season. Barrett, a senior runner at Central, is focused on taking the stretches seriously, and intent on going through the stretches until completion.
Last season, Barrett wasn’t nearly as serious. He would sometimes goof off with a teammate, or only do a stretch halfway. Then he injured both of his hamstrings at the North Central Conference meet. He was able to compete at sectionals, but he was not at his full capabilities. Those injuries, combined with an added desire to have a good senior season, has led Barrett to be sure to stretch completely and take that part of his preparation seriously.
“I’ve always known Timmric to have the ability to run fast,” Central coach Jason Wray said. “But it’s the small things, like coming to practice and doing the warmup and doing the stretching, and doing the sprint drills. It’s the little things that go a long way in the long run.”
Barrett’s improved dedication to maintaining his flexibility has paid dividends, both in terms of health and performance. At Thursday’s Central boys track sectional, he won the 100, 200 and long jump. He was also part of his team’s winning 1,600 relay. Central won the team title with 148½ points, well ahead of second-place Jay County at 89 points.
Yorktown finished third with 78 points, Delta was fourth with 63½, and Monroe Central rounded out the top five with 46½.
Barrett said he feels an added flexibility because of his stretching and he sees Thursday’s performance as a reward for his newfound attention to detail.
“Stretching’s actually why I’m as fast as I am right now,” he said.
Teammate Dean Prybylla, who won the 800 on Thursday, sees added potential for Barrett thanks to the changes he has made. Prybylla has seen Barrett be consistent while also maintaining a full load of events this season.
“With it being his last year, he’s just taking it a lot more seriously,” Prybylla said. “He’s finally stretching. Usually that’s not a thing for him. But he’s just taking it seriously, he’s taking care of his body. So I think we’ll be seeing him in a couple weeks down in Bloomington (at the state meet).”
Barrett and Prybylla weren’t the only Bearcats to produce individual wins. Earren Young turned in a victory in the 400, and Darrius Connell won the shot put. Central also won all three relays. The net result was a sectional title that was well in hand for the Bearcats as the meet’s final few events were held. Jay County won the sectional title last season, and Central and Delta tied for the crown in 2012.
“We’re trying to build a program where we come into this meet expecting to win every year,” Wray said. “That’s the way it was when I was here and competed as a student-athlete. This was expected. We came to this meet knowing we were going to win. That’s the tone, that’s the atmosphere that I’m trying to set. And these guys have just wrapped their arms around that. And they’ve taken it to heart, they’ve taken it serious. And obviously, by the outcome today, they know and they understand what we’re trying to do.”
Along with Barrett, Delta’s Mason Bechdolt was the meet’s only other double individual winner. Bechdolt won both hurdle events. Other individual winners included Wapahani’s Drew Barber (1,600), Burris’ Lucas Clay (3,200), Union’s Cole Owens (high jump), Delta’s Anthony Foster (pole vault) and Jay County’s Andrew Eley (discus).
The top four finishers in each event advance to the North Central Regional on May 29.
Blackford finished ninth at the Marion Sectional on Thursday with 23 points. Oak Hill won the meet with 112½. The Bruins were led by Trace Oswalt, who won the long jump and finished second in the high jump. Teammate Tryse Hendricks finished fourth in the 400 for the Bruins’ other regional qualifier.
Oswalt and Hendricks will compete at the Marion Regional on May 29.