HARRISONBURG, VA. (WHSV) -- Elijah Haag has ambitious goals this season. The Spotswood junior will compete in the 300 meter hurdles at this weekend's 3A state meet. And that's just part of his to-do list this season, which already has a few boxes checked off.
"I hope that all the work that I put in and all that I trained for actually shows," Haag said.
Haag is reaching the peak of a breakout season on the track.
"It's exceeded everything that I could have imagined honestly,” Haag said. “It's been hectic but I love it."
Coming off a hip injury during the indoor season, Haag's first goal was to break the Spotswood High record for the 300 meter hurdles.
"I did that and I also got two more school records which completely blew out of the water everything that I had for this season," Haag said.
From breaking records to breaking barriers, the junior hurdler won a regional title last weekend. And his time of 39.29 seconds didn't just earn him a second appearance at state, but also a trip to nationals.
"It's always been a dream of mine to go to nationals,” Haag said. “It always seemed like it was out of reach.”
Running hurdles seemed out of reach for Haag until Spotswood's hurdles coach saw potential in him two years ago.
"I kind of saw him as being somebody who could maybe muscle through a hurdle race,” SHS hurdles coach Ashley McAdams said. “Somebody who is very teachable. Somebody who I knew I could work with and see them as a project in working out. And I think the biggest thing that sets him apart from many athletes of his age is his mental toughness."
“During the race, I'm just thinking, man I gotta catch that guy in front of me and get up to him," Haag said.
It's a mindset he'll use this weekend to cross off another one of his goals.
"I hate to say it but that's another one of my dreams is to win state,” Haag said.
“I'm a little over ambitious but that's a big dream and I'm not saying that I want to do it this year because I have next year as well but that is a huge dream of mine. It's what I've been working for this entire season."
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