Source: Sherman Publications

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Athlete of the Week
National success

by Wendi Reardon

August 14, 2013

Blake Sutherland runs the last leg in the 1,600-meter relay during the MHSAA Track and Field Regional meet. Photo by Wendi Reardon
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.