BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — Candor’s Lance Jensen was not happy with his performance at last year’s state meet — so he’s vowed to do better at the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships here this weekend.
“I definitely want to do a lot better than I did last year,” he said. “It’s time to redeem myself as I ran not as good as I wanted to last year.”
The nerves got to him last year and he’s hoping to be over that when the race begins at 3:50 p.m. Friday afternoon.
“Getting over the nerves, pretty much, if I can get over the nerves, because last year I was young,” Jensen said. “Hopefully I can get over that and have a stronger race. I didn’t do too good last year at states, so I’m hoping I can overcome that.”
In 2018, Jensen placed 11th with a time of 58.16 seconds. He wasn’t very happy with that effort. Now a junior, Jensen is seeded seventh in Division II with a time of 55.51 seconds. He is just a shade over a second behind top-seeded Cameron Duffield of Saranac (54.53).
He’s been working hard to improve since last year.
“I’m trying to beat my PR by a half-second, so a high 54 is what I’m shooting for,” Jensen said. “It will be a stretch to make Federation, the top eight overall go to that. That’s my ultimate goal, to go to that. I think I’d have to get a low 54 to go to that.”
“The expectation this year is that Lance goes into it with confidence,” said Candor coach Bree Zogaria. “He had his first chance at states last year and this year is going to be even better. He’s been working so hard. He’s that kid with extra grit. He’s the kid that every coach wants to have. He does the extra all year long, which sets him apart I think.
“He’s going in to PR at states. He’s going to try to place as high as he can and break 55. That’s the goal. He’s improved immensely and his time just keeps dropping. It looks like the weather is going to hold out this weekend.”
Jensen, whose mother, Bonnie Jackson Jensen, hold the girls school record in the event, has been doing a lot of work on his own to prepare for states.
“I’ve been running a lot on my own at my house. I run after school. I’ve done hurdles after school, during school sometimes to prepare for it,” he said.
“We’re trying to recover my trail leg faster so I can get back to sprinting faster, and things like less reps or better quality reps to get better.”
Zogaria believe he’s ready.
“He excels with good competition, so I think that the race itself, I think that the weather is going to hold out and he doesn’t like to lose, so I think that’s going to help him a lot,” she said. “He’s got it all under the belt. It’s time to go. He’s raring to go.”
IN PHOTO: Candor’s Lance Jensen. … PHOTO BY TIM TAYLOR.
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