Goshen#039;s Rogers, Bryant looking for titles, respect

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

For T.J. Rogers and Jonathan Bryant the Alabama High School Athletic Association state track meet is about more than just chasing a state title.

While the Goshen High School duo is certainly eyeing titles in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash, the pair is also looking to earn a measure of respect for Goshen High School.

&#8220I definitely feel like we have something to prove,” Bryant said. &#8220Being from a smaller school no one really expects us to do well, so this is a chance for us to go and represent Goshen and hopefully earn some respect for ourselves and our school.”

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While both Rogers and Bryant are eager to get on the track, the pair admits there is already a certain amount of nervous energy floating around. Both expect that feeling to intensify as the meet approaches.

&#8220I'm pretty nervous,” Rogers said. &#8220I think the biggest reason for the nerves is that I just don't know what to expect. I know that the competition is going to really good. I'm sure everyone will be bigger and taller than I am, so that makes me a little nervous, but once we start running everything will be OK.”

The challenge of competing with the state's top runners intrigues Bryant and Rogers, who make up two-thirds of the Goshen track team.

&#8220The competition is going to be a lot better,” Bryant said. &#8220The intensity level at the regional meet was so much higher than a regular track meet that I can't even imagine what it will be like at the state meet. I really have no idea what to expect, but I'm looking forward to being able to run against those guys.”

Bryant will represent the Eagles in the 200-meter dash, while Rogers will compete in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash.

The pair hopes that the success they have had on the track this season will spark an interest in the sport among their fellow students.

&#8220We've had some people come up to us and talk about (qualifying for the state meet),” Bryant said. &#8220Everyone seems pretty interested in it. Track is kind of new here. I started running to stay in shape for football, but it's been a lot of fun and I'll definitely run next year. I hope that some more people will see what we've been able to do and come out and run. There's no telling what we could do with a full team.”

&#8220I think seeing the success we've had will make some other people want to run,” Rogers said. &#8220I hope it does. If we had more people we could run more races and be more competitive as a team.”

For now, however, the team is Rogers and Bryant, that isn't stopping the duo from setting its sights high.

&#8220You don't need a lot of people,” Rogers said. &#8220We're still going there to try and win and come back with a (state championship) ring.”

The AHSAA state meet begins on Thursday at Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Ala. Rogers and Bryant will run the 200-meter dash at 4:20 p.m., while Rogers is slated to race in the 400-meter dash at 5:30 p.m.