June 12, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Starkville sprinter Tavaris Tate is used to living in the fast lane.
On the track, it takes Tate seconds to run the 400 meters or his leg of the 4x400 relay.
Off the track, Tate''s preparation and travel schedule keeps him on the go.
Since helping Starkville High School to its second consecutive state championship, Tate has participated in the Atlanta-DeKalb International Prep Classic in Atlanta, Ga., and the Sports Authority Great Southwest Classic at Albuquerque, N.M.
Tate won in New Mexico and improved his No. 1 time in the 400 meters to 45.48 seconds by edging Clayton Parros (45.71). Tate and Parros teamed to help the Elite U.S. All-Stars win the 4x400 relay (3:06.35).
Now, Tate is on his way to the 50th-annual Golden West Invitational on Saturday at Folsom, Calif.
After returning from California, Tate has a quick turnaround to prepare for the Nike Outdoor Nationals on June 18-20 in Greensboro, N.C. He then will fly to Eugene, Ore., on June 25-28 for the Junior National Trials in hopes of qualifying for Junior National Finals in Trinidad in July.
With a loaded summer schedule, Tate hardly ever spends three days at home during the week before he has to leave again for his next meet.
"I look forward to it," Tate said. "It''s going to be hard work because I have a short period of time to train, so I feel it is just preparing me for the future and what I''m going to be doing if I''m running pro."
When he is home, Tate participates in a rugged two-a-day training program. He gets up at 6 a.m. to run and lifts weights at 6 p.m.
Tate said training takes a toll on his body, but knows there is a purpose involved. He realizes it takes discipline to get up in the morning and thinks about it as a job.
"It gets hard sometimes and tiring when you are running, running and running, but I know this is what I''ve been called to do, so I''m going to do it," Tate said. "If I run in the morning, my body will feel more refreshed in the afternoon. I''ve got to get the job done."
Tate does most of his training at Mississippi State, where he signed to run collegiately.
Watching the Bulldogs practicing for postseason meets makes Tate anxious to join them.
"I can see myself out there doing the same thing," Tate said.
Aside from traveling across the country for meets, Tate also is preparing for college.
Tate knows there is much more to accomplish in track and field and life, but he tries to keep everything in perspective and says the goal is to keep God first.
"Others don''t understand the Lord places certain things in your path so you can go through them and understand where you need to be and where you are going to be in life," Tate said. "I look at every race I run, it''s given to me by the Lord because I couldn''t run or be at the places I need to be without the Lord blessing me and my father to be there. We look at it as a blessing every time we go somewhere."