Athlete of the month: Wyatt Parks

Returning senior captain, Wyatt Parks, is finishing his final indoor track season this year, concluding his high-school career with two regional championships. As for county championships, Parks has placed second for pole vaulting in the last three years.  

            He has been a part of the team since his freshman year and has improved in major strides since clearing 8’6’’ when he started with pole vault as a freshman.   

            Parks considers himself a versatile player and contributes to his team through several events. His main event is pole vaulting, with his personal record being 13’ 6’’. Parks also helps his team by running the 4 x400 relay, the 4x 200 relay, and occasionally hurdles during the spring track season.  

            Many teammates are impacted by Parks’ positive attitude and many admire his skills. He creates a welcoming environment for all the other athletes on the track team. 

            “He’s definitely so positive,” teammate and pole vaulter, Courtney Butz (’20) said. “At every single meet whenever I’m getting in my head, he’s always the one person to cheer me on.” 

            According to several teammates, Parks is a favorite member on the team for his work ethic and attitude towards other players and coaches. Many of the players love to be around him because his energy motivates them to succeed.  

            Last indoor track season Parks was named captain of the boys’ team and continues this season to lead by example.  

            “There’s a lot of people that look up to him, but I don’t think he knows that,” Butz said.    

            Parks is viewed as a role model to the younger athletes on the team and he inspires people to try new events and get out of their comfort zone during practices. 

            “Before we didn’t have that many boys that did pole vault, but now people see him and want to try it,” Butz said. 

            Pole vaulting was not Parks’ reason to begin track. 

            “I started pole vaulting because my friend, Jack Prestandrea, said we could pole vault to get out of a trail run” Parks said.  

            While it wasn’t his first choice, it turned out to be his talent. During the off season he attends Vault Works several times per week with other pole vaulters on his team. 

            Being a key member the last three years, Parks has contributed to several championships and has created many memories with other teammates. Next year he will miss his teammates and coaches he sees every day. 

 “My favorite memory is last year when I got a double personal record (P.R.) when I jumped 13’ 6’’ and then I had a jump off against another pole vaulter from another team.” Parks said. 

Currently, Parks has offers to pole vault at the collegiate level, but he is undecided whether he wants to continue his track career.