Mental game: Braves athlete runs to awards

Harlan Deaton is confident that he can accomplish any goal he sets for himself.

Deaton ran track and cross-country at Brownstown Central, and he said he definitely enjoyed the bigger meets which offered more competition.

“I liked the bigger meets better. That is when a lot work is put on you and a lot of pressure,” he said. “But, I deal with that pretty well and do what I needed to get done.

“I’ve always had a strong mind when it came to running. I think that’s one of my best attributes. I always went out there and gave it my best.”

That attitude and hard work paid off in him receiving mental attitude and most improved awards in cross-country, being named most valuable distance runner in track, and being a regional qualifier in both sports.

In track he ran 400s, 800s, miles and 2-miles during his career.

“I liked the 800 a lot, but as we went through the (2017) season I liked the two-mile more going back to my cross-country roots,” Deaton said. “I liked long distance better.

“Coach (Derrick) Koch went from more mileage to getting more fast-paced endurance, and it’s been a good transition.”

Deaton said one of his favorite races was when he ran in the 4×800 relay.

“I ran a 2:02 split, and we missed the school record by 3/10 of a second. That was a good race for all of us,” Deaton said”

He ran the 4×800 relay at sectional.

He was the Braves’ No. 2 cross-country runner his junior and senior seasons.

During the season, Deaton liked the variety of courses he ran on.

“I actually liked the hills,” Deaton said. I’ve got shorter legs and some of those tall guys had problems going up hills. I thought that was a strong suit of mine.

“My favorite course was Jac-Cen-Del. It’s actually a flat course, but we ran there in early mornings when it was cool, and it just seemed to be a good course for everybody to go out and run their best. I definitely liked the morning races better because of the cooler temperatures and I didn’t have to deal with the heat.”

Deaton ran with the Polar Bear Club in Brownstown during the winters to stay in shape year-round.

“Practice in-season and off-season, all of it is important,” Deaton said. “If you don’t get the proper training in, even before the season starts, you’re just that much behind everybody else trying to catch up. The season is a hard load to do.”

His career-best time was 17:34.

“The first mile I tried to shoot for high 5’s or low 6s (minutes),” Deaton said. “I knew if I hit that I was setting out for a good race. It was pretty mental from about the mile. I had to keep my mind focused and just keep my time down from there.

“I tried to run a steady pace and it helped that I had a good friend, Jake McCullough, and I would stay with him for about the first mile to mile-and-a-half, then I knew I could keep my mind going and run a good race.”

Deaton said he enjoyed attending Brownstown Central.

“I’ve loved the small town atmosphere,” he said. “I loved my teammates in cross-country. We were closer than we were in track. I had a blast.”

Deaton file

Name: Harlan Deaton

School: Brownstown Central high School

Parents: Mark and Susan Deaton

Sibling: Alison

Sports: track 4 years, cross-country 3 years

Athletic honors: track – most valuable distance runner, regional qualifier; cross-country – mental attitude award, most improved, regional qualifier

Organizations: National Honor Society

Plans after high school: attend Indiana Wesleyan University for nursing and Army ROTC

Favorite food: bacon cheeseburger

Favorite TV show: Supernatural

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.