But Gilbert-Harmon’s goals extend beyond winning a state title. He wants to continue running after high school.
“My goal is to go to college,” Gilbert-Harmon said. “I am only a junior. Hopefully next year I get to go to college and prove everyone else wrong.”
Gilbert-Harmon said it’s those doubters that have motivated him to get to this point and the need to keep showing them what he’s made of will carry him to the next level.
Even though his coach doesn’t think that type of motivation is productive, he understands where Gilbert-Harmon is coming from.
“I don’t necessarily recommend him doing that,” Atkinson said. “I try to tell these athletes to stay in their own realm. Don’t listen to what other people say because a lot of times that can affect you . A lot of times people will use that as a mind game. If it’s working for him, I’m going to let him keep doing it.”
Gilbert-Harmon and his Southmoore teammates will be back on the track at 4:15 Thursday in the Mid-State Conference track and field championships at Norman High.
A run at a state gold medal will begin May 4 with the regional track meet at Norman High. He has to finish in the top-4 to advance to the state track meet May 10-11 in Yukon.
Atkinson said he wouldn’t be surprised if he has a state gold medal in his hand at the end of the season.
“Right now, he’s still very raw,” Atkinson said. “Still has a lot of flaws in his running technique. His hurdling technique has gotten a lot better, and that’s why he’s starting to bring his time down each week. But I believe at the state meet, the kid can easily be on the podium.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org