Focused on the Finish Line

Treg Jeffery is beginning to bring things into focus… which is not good news for the rest of the runners in 4A-I this year.

The senior at Moon Valley High School plays soccer, ran a year of cross-country, and is putting in his fourth year on the track team, where he was state champion last year in the 400 meter and 800 meter and anchored the 4×400 relay.

“He does a little bit of everything,” explains his coach, Kim Dismuke. “The first year he ran distance, but the last three years he decided to come over to being a sprinter. He loves the 200 and 400, and I trained him up to the 800.”

But this year he has zeroed in on school work and his times on the track, and plans to repeat at the State competition, while getting prepared for a college career.

“I’m focusing on school, most importantly – and my training, of course,” he explains. I’m making sure I do all my work and study for tests. That’s what’s going to get me into college.

“I’ve been working out a lot, working on endurance and getting my times up. It’s really encouraging to know that I’ve got all that in front of me, this year’s season and then college.”

Coach Dismuke explains that her star on the track was not always a star in the classroom, and struggled so much during his sophomore year that we was ineligible to compete at the state meet. “He probably would have won the 400 and 800 that year,” she notes. In fact, he went to the Nationals that year and finished second in the 800m and ninth in the 400m.

“After he came back from that meet, he got himself very focused, and with his grades, too. That year was an awakening for him and he turned it around his junior year and is on track to graduate, hoping to finish with a B average.”

And, to get him into better shape for this year’s season on the track, she has encouraged him to compete in more out-of-state meets. “Within Arizona,” she says, “he doesn’t have any competition. For him to succeed, he needs to get out of state, to get better competition and some exposure.”

This summer he entered the Nike Invitational in North Carolina, the Great Southwest meet in New Mexico, and the Golden West meet in California. “He didn’t really get the times that he wanted,” she admits, but did finish sixth overall in the Great Southwest. “It was great competition for him, but he just didn’t execute.”

But Treg knows this is the year he has to execute. “I remember saying when I was a freshman that my senior year was so far away,” he recalls. “But it’s already here…time has just gone. And now I’m looking at college.”

A number of colleges have shown interest in him, including ASU and Portland State. His coach says he has received “tons of letters”, but his heart is in California. He would like to go to ASU, but admits that “UCLA is my first choice. They’ve had a great track team and I’ve always been interested in California and that environment.”

So this year, his final showcase will be the state competition again. He says last year he was “experimenting” with running the 200m, but it was run too close to the 800m, so he decided against it. Now he’s thinking about it again, but wants to wait and see how he feels as that time gets closer.

“I’ve just set my goal to win as many events (at State) as I possibly can,” he adds, but not to worry about my times. I figure you place first and then worry about your times after that.”