Basketball’s loss is track’s gain for Calumet
When the public address announcer called Phillip Collins’ name just after the final event, he sprinted a lap around Calumet’s convoy of players and coaches, slapping hands and yelling to the sky.
Officials initially judged Collins as the winner of the 200 meters, but bumped him to second behind Andrean’s Thomas after correcting a timing error. Still, Collins completed a long, winding road to advance to state after his 4-by-400 relay was disqualified last year.
Warriors coach Jerae Protho-Guider said Collins approached her in the fall to fully commit himself to track. Collins, a junior, played two years of basketball, but decided to quit and attack his track training with renewed dedication.
“We work really hard,” Collins said. “We never waste a second.”
Collins and Protho-Guider said Collins’ fast start helped carry him to state, but Collins also credited the support his friends, family and coaches provide him. Protho-Guider, however, pointed to Collins’ work ethic.
“Whatever goal he sets for himself, I believe it can be reached, because his hard work backs it up.” Protho-Guider said. “I never have to look for him. He’s there. Whatever goal he has for himself, I know he’ll get there.”
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