FRONT ROYAL – Ahead of the start of the 2021 high school outdoor track and field season in late April, Skyline’s Logan Bailey went through a list of goals he had for his junior season. Two months later, he had ticked almost every one of those boxes.
Bailey broke a school record in the 110-meter-tall hurdles, an event in which he won the Northwest District and Region 3B Class 3 titles in June. He was also district champion in the 300-meter hurdles and at the Class 3 state championships, he placed third in both hurdles events.
Additionally, Bailey helped lead the Hawks ‘4×100 boys relay team to district and regional gold and a silver medal in the state competition, and he was a key part of a boys’ team. Skyline who won the North West Class 3 District Championship and was the Region 3B Runner-up.
The only major goal that was missed for Bailey was the school record in the 300 hurdles.
“I thought it went really well,” Bailey, 2021 Northern Virginia Daily male track athlete of the year, said recently of his junior season. “It was a lot of fun. There were a lot more people (in the team) than usual, so it was good. We actually had a team. I did a lot of things that I wanted to do, maybe like a thing or two that i haven’t really done, but (i will) next year.
The 2021 outdoor season probably would have been quite memorable for Bailey without all the accolades he received along the way. Last spring marked the return of the sport after COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of the entire spring 2020 season, and it was the first chance Bailey had had the chance to compete in the hurdles during a full season. air (he had already started running them during the indoor season in 2019-20).
The structure of the 2021 season was also deviating from the norm, as the pandemic forced changes that limited the regular season competitions to a handful of midweek events with no more than four teams.
Bailey and Skyline’s head athletics coach Steve Burton agreed that this structure made it difficult for athletes to properly assess where they were in relation to the rest of the field when it came to the playoffs.
In a typical season, the Hawks would have had the chance to compete with Class 4, 5, and 6 teams – and even out-of-state teams – in fixtures like the Handley Invitational and Apple Blossom Invitational. . In 2021, however, it wasn’t until Skyline’s last regular season encounter – against Clarke County, Luray and Madison County – that Bailey was truly challenged in a specialty event like the hurdles.
It’s no coincidence that Bailey’s record-breaking performance in the 110 hurdles came that day, when he ran against – and beat by six tenths of a second – Ellis Nei of Clarke County, who would go on to win. this test to the class. 2 state championships a few weeks later. Bailey’s hand-timed race of 14.52 seconds converted to a fully automatic time of 14.84.
“As the season went on I started to see a little more competition which I like,” said Bailey. “I like to see the competition and I really like being pushed like that, so it was fun.”
From there, Bailey launched into the playoffs, starting with the Class 3 Northwest District Championships on June 3. While he’s not entirely sure where he stands relative to some of the contestants he encountered later in the playoffs, Bailey said he can feel himself improving in the hurdles as he goes. as the season wore on and he entered the district with the mindset that he “just wanted to see how much better I was since I last did them.”
Bailey swept the hurdles events at the District Championships and nearly repeated that feat the following week at the Region 3B Championships, although he had to settle for silver in the 300 hurdles behind the future state champion. Chris White from Goochland.
While busy battling for a pair of third places in the hurdles of the state competition, Bailey also lent his legs to the success of the 4×100 relay team, which included William Smith, Logan Maiatico and Marion. “Budder” Haley in the state meets. Bronson Breen hosted the event alongside Bailey, Haley and Maiatico in the Northwest District and Region 3B Championships, where the Hawks won 4×100 titles.
“We definitely had to change a few things towards the end there,” Bailey said of this band, “but we all have chemistry, so it was really easy to put it together and get it going. “
Bailey also qualified for the state triple jump competition (he placed third in the event at the regional championships), but he chose not to compete in that event to avoid aggravating a minor injury. knee he suffered just before the playoffs.
In addition to his value as a scorer for the Hawks, Burton said Bailey was a leader on the track last season who made sure everyone knew where they were supposed to be and when, during a meeting. .
“This year (Bailey’s leadership) was over because he finally got verbal,” Burton said. “It used to be like, ‘OK, I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do, what I’m supposed to do, and I hope you’re watching me.’ This year it was more verbal. It was like, ‘OK, that’s what’s going on. Let’s go.’ “
Burton said Bailey lived up to the hype of his junior season, adding that Bailey’s near-misses in the hurdles at the state meet instantly lit a fire to take the next step and the senior on the rise had “already worked for next year”.
“He saw that kid from Goochland, he saw where he was against him and it’s like now he has a new goal of ‘OK I have to work to make sure I take care of this'” , said Burton. , “not wanting to settle for a second or a third, wanting to be this state champion.”
Bailey agreed his expectations for 2022 are “much higher.”
“I expect to do a lot better since this is my fourth year,” he said, “and there’s just a lot more to do since I’m going to be senior and I should be the best of the best.”
As for his failed goal of breaking the school record in the 300 hurdles, which Burton said Bailey had hit a tenth of a second, Bailey doesn’t dwell on that too much.
“It’s not disappointing,” Bailey said, “but it’s definitely something I’m going to get next year, without a doubt.”