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Athlete of the Week: Blake Harty

(Editor's note: Throughout the local high school sports season, Culpeper Times will again recognize an “Athlete of the Week” from one of the sports on a rotating basis. This week we feature boys cross country. At the end of the year the Times will select a male and female athlete at both Culpeper County and Eastern View high schools and recognize them as “Athlete of the Year” at their respective schools.)

Blake Harty ran his way to the top of the Eastern View High School boys cross country team this year and he did it by the example he set, not the things he said.
Harty is the Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week” for boys cross country.
“He just took off and assumed the number one role as a runner,” coach Paul Lutz said of the junior. “He showed a lot of leadership early on and was named one of the co-captains.”
Lest you think Harty is serious all the time, Lutz dismisses that thought.
“He knows how to joke around and have fun,” Lutz said. “But he also knows there is a time to get serious. That's something a lot of young men have a tough time figuring out.”
Lutz said Harty has a lot of natural ability.
“He's a strong runner,” he said. “Now he's trying to focus in and improve.”
Harty is only in his second year as a cross country runner.
“I started running cross country because my dad did it when he was a kid,” Harty said. “I like it because it's very competitive. It takes a lot of determination and training.”
Harty said he believes cross country is “about 70 percent mental.”
“I have to keep the pace I'm trying to run for an entire race, focusing on my goal,” he said.
Harty ran his best time of the season – a 17.39 over the 3.1 mile course – about a week ago.
With English and history being his favorite subjects, Harty would like to go on to college at Virginia Commonwealth University, although he has not yet made up his mind on a course of study. He said he plans to run track for the Cyclones in the spring.
NOTE: Culpeper County High School coach Kim Williams nominated junior Clay Metcalf.
“He's a silent doer,” Williams said. “He works hard and is meticulous and conscientious. I know he will always be there (in the top group). He's a strong number two runner on the team and should be All-Battlefield District this year and maybe go beyond that. He's the kind of guy you like to have on the team – very coachable.”
Metcalf said he has been running since eighth grade.
“I like it because it's mostly all mental and it also gets me in shape for school and travel soccer,” he said.
Metcalf said the most difficult physical part is at the beginning of the season.
“That's when you're getting into shape,” Metcalf said. “Once you're in shape it's fine. Practices are harder than meets. I am thinking all day trying to get focused.”
Math and science are Metcalf's favorite subjects, he said.
“I'd like to go to Virginia Tech and get into any kind of engineering, maybe chemical or mechanical,” he said.

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