Before the Lakeside High School boys’ track-and- field team won the DeKalb County title on March 28, the program had not won a county title since 1974.
In that same year, Lakeside won the Class AAA state title. History could repeat itself for Lakeside in the Class AAAAAA track meet with the help of freshman Brian Herron.
Herron, 15, helped lead the Lakeside Vikings to this first county title in 42 years with a win in the 400-meter dash—beating defending champion Southwest DeKalb’s Terry Conwell. Herron also finished second in the 200-meter run and led the 4×100 relay team to a third-place finish and the 4×400 relay team to a second-place finish.
Herron has given Lakeside the edge it needs to get over the hump to possibly win a state title, and Herron said he believes it is possible.
“I’m pretty confident about that because we can finish in the top three in each event,” Herron said.
Herron has become well-known in the DeKalb track and field scene in a short period of time. He has been running track for only three years and is already among the top sprinters in the county and state. He currently competes in the 200-meter and 400-meter dash. He also has competed in the 60-meter, 100-meter and 800-meter.
Herron, who is also a member of Flight 400 track club, has more than 30 major wins since 2014. Herron said 2014 was when he realized how good he was.
“I started to win more and my times started dropping,” he said.
Herron said it was his older brother Daniel, who is a senior hurdler at Lakeside, who inspired him to become a sprinter.
“He tried it first and then I caught on,” Herron said.
Herron and his brother would race each other in the front yard when they were younger. Herron said his older brother won most of those races, but these days Brian is winning most of them.
Herron said being at the same school and on the same track team with his brother has helped him transition from the middle school level to high school
“It feels great to be with my brother because he’s been at the school longer and he knows ways to talk to people and it really helps me,” he said.
Although Herron has been a dominant force on the track, he is still getting to used to the idea of being as good as or better than some of the top sprinters in the state who are upperclassmen.
“It’s crazy because sometimes I feel intimidated because the kids are older than me,” he said. “But I really underestimated myself.”
When he is on the track, Herron said he stays in one zone.
“I really just think about my own race so that I can just relax,” he said. “I don’t really focus on anyone else in the race. It’s just me and my own race.”
Herron has broken personal records each year and was close to breaking the county’s 400-meter record. He was 1/100th of a second off. Herron said he believes he is close to breaking county and state records.
“I feel like I can get them next year,” he said. “Depending on how hard I work out.”
After the county track meet, Lakeside coach Cardinal Clark said Herron is a “very important key element” to the team. Herron said he likes being looked to as a leader even as a freshman, but it does have a downside to it.
“It feels great but it also feels stressful because they’re relying on me to do most of the work,” he said. “But I really like it—just to be a leader overall.”
The honor student is also a leader in the classroom and in the community. He participates in various community and overseas projects, including the Ranfurly Homes for Children in Nassau, Bahama.
Herron said he is currently being looked at by college scouts from the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky. He wants to run track in college and hopes to make the Olympic team in the future.
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