Kentre Patterson has been competing in track and field long enough to know the hurdles are a different kind of race.
And that’s exactly why the East Lansing junior enjoys the hurdles events so much.
Hurdling has become a craft that Patterson has mastered as he’s emerged as one of the best in the state. The latest Lansing State Journal prep athlete of the week winner has some of the best times in both events after a strong showing when he won the 110 and 300 hurdles last week during the Charlie Janke Invitational that was hosted by Jackson.
The success Patterson credits to the work he’s put in.
“It’s just hard work and working every day at practice and working on my craft,” said Patterson, who owns the fastest time in the state in the 110 high hurdles and ranks eighth in the 300 low hurdles.
“I’ve always known that hard work will take you a long ways. I’m just out here every day doing what I have to do to get better.”
East Lansing coach Pat Murray has noticed that work ethic and said it’s one of the things that stands out about Patterson.
“He came to us with pretty good athletic ability and lots of desire,” Murray said. “That’s a big start. The biggest thing from working with him that’s exciting as a coach is if you talk to him about something, the next time he goes over a hurdle he does it. He’s what we call coachable. You tell him to do something and it happens. That happens less and less frequently with athletes nowadays. He has tremendous desire. He wants to get better. That’s the biggest thing in an event like the hurdles.”
Patterson has high goals for this spring after competing in the hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in March. He is shooting to break the East Lansing record in the high hurdles while also chasing a state title. He just missed the school record with his time of 14.32 seconds in last Friday’s invitational.
Patterson will continue to chase that record while also working to land an opportunity to play football and continue hurdling in college. Murray believes Patterson, who has football offers from Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Tennessee Martin, can be a special hurdler at the college level if he has the opportunity to continue participating in track and field.
”We’ve had him over the college highs a couple of times. He has no trouble, and for some high school hurdlers, that’s a big step with that additional height of that hurdle,” Murray said. “He handled it just like water flowing through a river. He has no problem with that. I think his potential as a college high hurdler is tremendous.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.