SOUTH HOLLAND | When Seton Academy's DeJay Terry reflects back on her outstanding prep career, the Central Michigan-bound senior doesn't think about what might have been.
She has had a stellar career. Instead, she took a break Monday from practice to reflect on what might not have been.
"I wasn't going to go out for track as a freshman," Terry said. "I didn't think I was good enough to compete."
Terry said it with a straight face.
"Coach (Damani) Shakoor talked me into coming out and I am glad he did," Terry said. "I watched a few practices and said to myself, 'I can do this,' so I went out and I have loved every minute of it."
You can believe it is a fast minute. She has been more than good enough to compete. She won the 55- and 200-meter dashes this year at the Class A Illinois Prep Top Times Classic, the unofficial indoor state track and field championships. She set school records in each with times of 7.30 seconds in the 55 and 26.19 in the 200. She also anchored the winning 400 relay team which set a school and a Class A meet record of 1:47.50.
With her prep career ending, Terry has a goal — make that several — for the Class 1A state meet, which begins Thursday at Eastern Illinois University. Last year she was second in the 100, fourth in the 200 and third with her teammates in the 400 relay. The 400 team of Jasmine Gardner, Mykel Adams, Hunter Guy and Terry set a school record at Friday's Seneca Sectional, winning in 48.883 seconds. The previous mark was 48.9. The 800 team of Nancy Jeanty, Gardner, Guy and Terry won in 1:45.386, just short of the school-record time of 1:44.7.
"I want to win all four," Terry said. "I want us to do great and go out with a big finish."
While Terry said this year has been fun, recently, it has been stressful.
"Track is fun, but getting ready for finals, prom, all those things can be stressful," Terry said. "Track has been a lot of hard work, but it has been worth it."
Terry earned a scholarship to Central Michigan and is ranked fourth in her senior class.
"Academics is the priority and Seton is very challenging," Terry said. "You work hard at it and it will all pay off."
Just like in track.
Terry and Adams both will compete in the 100. Terry also will run the 200 and Adams the 400. In addition, Seton's 1,600 relay team of Kyla Mays, DeJa Parker, Jeanty and Gardner also will compete.