Photos courtesy of Lisa McArthur and Mile Split NC
Going into his sophomore year of high school, Chantz Sawyers wasn’t sure of his path to college. Like many other athletes across the country, his dream was to go to college to play sports so that he could help out his family someday, but he wasn’t sure how that would happen.
“Before [track and field], I was wondering how I was really going to get into college,” Chantz said. “I definitely didn’t want to go to college not being able to do something; I knew that I wanted to participate in an athletic.”
Chantz Sawyers started his high school career playing soccer and basketball. When things weren’t going the way he had hoped, he soon found his new passion: Track and Field.
“The other sports I was playing weren’t going so well, I did not really feel like I had a great season because we did not win as many games as we wanted to as a team,” said Chantz. “Then the track coach asked me if I wanted to do track. I knew I had to win something, so I just started running track and here I am now “
Fast forward a year later to today and you’ll find a rising junior that has cut his 400-meter time from 52 seconds all the way down to 47.88 seconds. A junior that is currently the number one 400-meter sprinter in his state of North Carolina and the number nine 400-meter indoor sprinter in the nation.
Chantz credits his huge improvements to his his coach, saying “I found my coach this winter actually and he’s really been helping me out a lot.” He also credits his friend and teammate Daniel Estrada, “He’s one of the nationally ranked runners in the 55, 60 and all the short sprints,” Chantz described Daniel. “He’s really helped me with my speed. We both help each other; he helps me with my speed and I help him with his endurance.”
Sawyers is a highly recruited 400-meter-sprinter, from High Point Christian Academy and Platinum Sports Academy, who has approximately 16 college interestsincluding LSU, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, NC State, and Wake Forest.
The interest that sticks out out the most to him thus far is LSU; according to Chantz, just months ago he didn’t fit their high recruiting standards. “When I looked up LSU’s recruiting standards, I felt at the time there was no way I was going to even get an email from the coach,” said Chantz.
Although he has received numerous interests, Chantz has yet to fully delve into his recruiting situation. He plans to form his top five lists when he starts his visits this summer and he hopes to commit to a school sometime this summer after July.
All the attention and spotlight that he has received in the last year can be very overwhelming for most, Chantz however, is focused on remaining humble because he knows that it could all be taken away in a matter of seconds.
“I don’t like to get hype and too excited because I know that anything could happen,” said Chantz. “When we stand behind the blocks [before every race], I just take a deep breath and since I’m a Christian I just tell God, ‘whatever happens, happens! Everything is under your will.’”
Chantz’s main focus is on the track. He feels that he is mentally stronger than his competition and is zoned in on crushing the competition.
“My mentality is tougher than anyone else is on the track,” said Chantz. “Every time [I’m] on the track, I’m definitely going to be faster than any of the people in my lane. I’m going beat them; I’m going to beat them by meters, I’m going to beat them by a pretty fast time!”
When asked where all of his drive and motivation comes from, Chantz is quick to give all of the credit to his mom.
“Definitely from my mom,” Chantz says. “My mom motivates me; I see how hard she works everyday. I don’t want to see her work anymore, later in the future.”
Chantz is one step closer to fulfilling his dream of playing a sport in college and helping out his mother. All of this would not have been possible had it not been for the sport of track and field.
“Track means a lot to me because it made something out of me,” said Chantz. “Without track, I wouldn’t be where I am today!”
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