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Athlete of the Week

National success

Blake Sutherland runs the last leg in the 1,600-meter relay during the MHSAA Track and Field Regional meet. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
August 14, 2013 - Blake Sutherland is ready to run on the college track after a successful spring and summer.

The 2013 Clarkston High School graduate recently ran for the Elite Performance Track & Field Club in the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships.

His speed aided his 4x400-meter relay team. Along with Ian Eriksen, Daquarius Hollis and Ty Thronson, Sutherland finished at 3:22.20.

Sutherland joined Elite this year after a college coach made a recommendation for him to join summer track.

He began running his junior year for the Clarkston Boys Track and Field team to try something new.

"I wanted a break from AAU basketball," he explained. "I ended up being good at it. The high school team introduced me to track and I got a lot of work out. Coach (John) Bennink was a really good coach to me. I learned a lot."

As a senior, he aided his 1,600-meter relay team during the MHSAA Track and Field Regionals when he finished .54 seconds ahead of Rochester Adams. The finish put the relay team in first place at 3:21.87 while breaking the school record.

He also finished in fourth at the regionals in the 400-meter dash. He set his personal best at the OAA Red League meet in the event in 50.44.

Sutherland is running track with Michigan State University as a preferred walk on. He added running for Elite will help for the next level.

"It was eye opening for how fast and what level I will be running," he said. "I just need to keep working hard."

He will study kinesiology and plans to either become a sports chiropractor, personal trainer or something else in the athletic field.

He explained athletics has been a big part of his life adding, "athletics taught me and made me who I am today."

His advice to aspiring athletes is not to limit themselves.

"The only limitations you have are the ones you set for yourself," he added.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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