Running is an everyday thing for Wyatt Maxey. The 6-foot-3, 150-pound Providence High senior trains year round for cross country and track. .At the peak of his summer workouts, usually at McAlpine Creek Park, Maxey, 17, was running 80 to 90 miles per week, or more than 12 miles per day.“Summer is actually the most important time, because you build your endurance for the rest of the year,” Maxey said. “Anyone can like competing, racing, but a lot of times what you do on your own, when it’s just you and the course is critical. I actually like running every day. It’s something I look forward to. If I don’t run it throws me off my balance.”His coach, Steve Touranjoe, who has coached multiple all-state runners in his 17 years at Providence, says Maxey’s work ethic is what makes him standout.“Wyatt does a great job of preparation, which is everything in this sport,” Touranjoe said. “He does all the little things well on a daily basis. Most of that training is all on him with nobody watching or coaching. He just gets it done.”Maxey’s hard work paid off in his first race of the season, when he ran a personal-best of 15 minutes, 10 seconds in the Providence Invitational at McAlpine, finishing second. It is the third-fastest time in Mecklenburg County history at that venue. Maxey broke his own school record in the 5,000-meters by 14 seconds. He broke John Curtis’ previous school record of 15:27 with a 15:24 last season at the Foot Locker Championships qualifier in November at McAlpine.Maxey currently holds six schools records at Providence, including the 5,000-meter, the 1,600-meter outdoor, the 3,200-meter indoor and outdoor, and the 4x800 relay (with his teammates) indoor and outdoor.Maxey is also going for the Mecklenburg County 5K record at McAlpine, 15:01 set by West Charlotte’s Mark Blackmon in 2011.“It does mean a lot to have county and school records, because there are and have been a lot of great runners in Charlotte,” Maxey said. “But that is not my only motivation. I also want to see my team win championships and see each guy run as well as he can.”Maxey says his Providence cross country team, which won the 4A West Regional last year and finished seventh at the state meet, has the talent to contend again this year. Winning the regional was the highlight of Maxey’s season last year.The Panthers include fellow seniors Dylan Cohen and Mitch Costa, junior Daniel Kim, and twin sophomore brothers Logan and Tanner Sutter, who are all near the top of the Panther lineup. “One of my main goals this season is to be a leader and help the young guys on this team get better,” Maxey said. “I really enjoy running with teammates and watching them grow on their own. A lot of people helped me get to where I am now, so I feel like it’s important to give back and keep the Providence tradition going.”Maxey exemplified his team focus in last year’s Southwestern 4A conference championship outdoor meet.After winning the 800 and 1,600-meter runs, Maxey was a clear favorite to win the 3,200-meter. He led for most of the race, but close to the end he yelled at then senior teammate Joe Sullivan to pull ahead of him and win the event.“I knew how hard Joe had worked and I thought he really deserved it,” said Maxey, who won 4A West Regional outdoor title in the 1,600 and finished third in the state in same event last season. “So, when I saw we were clearly 1-2 in the race, I just told him to go ahead.”Said Touranjoe, “I had no idea that was going to happen. I think that says all you need to know about Wyatt.”Touranjoe said he knew Maxey was going to be “special,” from the start. As a freshman, he was running times comparable to former all-state Providence runners like Alex Taylor, Curtis, Michael Oelz and Rob Dock when they were freshmen.The Providence coach has watched Maxey get better and better each year and believes Maxey’s final season will be his best.Maxey hopes to contend for the SoMeck 8, regional and state titles. He also wants to qualify for the Foot Locker Championships Dec. 14 in San Diego. To get there, he will likely have to run in the neighborhood of 14:50.Maxey also hopes to earn the opportunity to run in college. He plans to visit N.C. State, Tennessee and Texas this fall. “My goal since I was a little kid has been to play some college sport,” Maxey said. “I feel very blessed and grateful that I have a chance to do keep doing what I love to do.” *Story went to print before Providence ran in the Furman Invitational Sept. 14.
Friday, Sep. 13, 2013
Wyatt Maxey is running into the record books at Providence High
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less