Senior Sendoff: Dylan Hale - St Luke's

Name: Dylan Hale

High School: Saint Luke's

What was your most memorable meet and why?
My most memorable meet was at the Gulf Shores St. Patrick's Day Meet when I threw 155 feet. This meet is so memorable because prior to that I had not thrown 150 feet. The Mississippi College Track Coach told me I had to throw 150 feet before he could give me a scholarship. My whole team had waited to watch me throw and see how I did. Keep it mind, I did not throw until 5:00 in the afternoon and we had been there since 8:00 in the morning. Once I threw and the official called out my throw measurement, my whole team erupted with happiness because now I had earned a scholarship to throw the javelin in college.

Where did you face your biggest competition?
On October 8, 2020 I blew out my knee, tearing my ACL, MCL, and LCL. I had to get a complete knee reconstruction done on November 10 , 2020. When I first found out what was wrong, I thought that my chances of being a collegiate athlete were shot. My baseball coach, Lance Johnson, taught me two years ago to never focus on how my opponent is performing and to only focus on how I am performing. So, I spent the entire season focusing on myself and my performance. I was my biggest competition.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most and why?
My most outstanding accomplishment was when I won the 2A Javelin State Championship. This accomplishment was so important to me because six months after knee reconstruction I had done what every high school athlete dreams about, winning a State title. I had proven to not only the doctors and my peers, but also myself, that I could do anything I set my mind to.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your running career in high school?
If I could go back I would make COVID-19 a never-occurring event. I would not destroy my knee and I would have the right equipment from the very beginning. Always make sure you have the right equipment!

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome during your HS Track career?
I had two major obstacles during my high school career - COVID-19 and a catastrophic knee injury. I didn't have a Junior season or any Summer camps leading up to my Senior year because of COVID-19. So, I had no recruitment prior to my senior season. Then, my Senior track season was in jeopardy because of my knee injury. Having to come back from a blown-out knee just to have a Senior season was very difficult, but worth it.

What will you miss the most?
I will miss my team the most because this year especially we grew so close that I consider all of them my family. I will miss the laughter at the team dinners up on the football field. I will also miss the blanket forts at the back of the bus on the way to meets that were hours away.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Just because you do not perform like you would have liked at one meet does not mean you can not amaze yourself at the next one. Always remember to have fun with it because the memories you make during the season with your friends are just as important as the goals you strive to meet.

What are your post-high school or college plans? Who would you like to say thank you to?
I am going to attend Mississippi College to throw the javelin for the track team and play football as a linebacker. I would like to thank my trainers (David Bentley and Elizabeth Boone) for getting me as strong as possible before and after surgery, I am going to be a dual collegiate athlete because of them.