Story by Stephen Wise, Photos by Goflashwin and Ryan Harris
Defying gravity. It’s a habit of high jump extraordinaire Dallas Wise, a standout junior on the track team. In his first year of track last season, his jumping vaulted him all the way to a second place finish in the state. This year, he’s back and hungry for more, hoping to finish the season with a ring on his finger.
“I see commitment in him. He has passion and potential, as he broke a meet record in just his first year jumping,” senior Revon Landreneau said. “With all the training he is doing to get better, I fully expect him to be a state champion.”
Dallas gets his motivation from his past, putting in work over the off season to improve both on and off the track, as his aspirations and passions go deeper than simply getting better at his sport.
“My motivation is to get better day by day,” Dallas said. “Coming from nothing and growing up hard, my past helped me achieve the goals I have now. I just want the best for my family.”
Having athletes like Dallas is a huge boost to the track program, according to track coach Sylvia Golston, His skill and athletic ability is what ultimately sets him apart from the other athletes in the high jump, causing his potential to be whatever he wants it to be.
“When it comes to track, it’s all about your athletic ability, some of the kids we pick up we can’t teach the high jump,” said Coach Golston. “His talents you can’t teach, but he can learn how to improve.”
Dallas says his life has been influenced heavily by track, causing him to be a better person and opening doors he might not have even imagined being there.
“Track overall made me a better person. I became nationally ranked, I went to places I have never seen before, and I met my girlfriend through track,” Dallas said.“It made relationship with my friends even stronger.”
The impact on the track team that Dallas has is significant. They notice his work ethic and passion he has for the sport and try to emulate it themselves, boosting their performance and helping them come together as a team.
“Honestly it made me proud to see all the work he puts in and how dedicated he is and how he cares about it,” senior Andrew Jamison said. “It gave us a lot of confidence because we see him setting all these records and it lets us know we can do great things on the track.”
Dallas’ teammates have also noticed the intensity and consistency that he utilizes in the practices, not just showing up for the meets.
“He gets out there every day rain or shine and he is out there grinding out there no matter the weather, practicing,” junior Creighton Taylor said. “It inspires us all to practice as hard as we can.”
It may only be his second year in the sport, but Dallas has already collected the accolades of a seasoned veteran in the sport. Following up a second place finish at the state competition, he knows the only way to top it is by finishing up as a state champion. He has specific goals he wants to reach, and knows exactly how he is going to reach them.
“The weight room and the track is obviously going to help me achieve my goals. I’m going to take each day in practice like my last,” Dallas said, “I want to jump six feet ten inches, seven feet, and be a state champion this year”.