ATLANTA - Daetrich Harrington knows the clock is ticking on his high school track and field career.
And that’s why the Alexander senior pushed himself through the Region 5-AAAAAA Track and Field Championships this week at Lakewood Stadium.
Still hurting from a leg injury, Harrington was able to win the 110-meters hurdles event on Thursday to earn a spot at the Class AAAAAA Sectional meet.
He had a time of 15.04 seconds to win the event. The former all-state running back placed second in the triple jump on Tuesday with a leap of 43-feet, 11 inches.
He is also a member of the Cougars’ 400-meters relay team that placed four and earned a spot in the Sectional meet, which will also be held at Lakewood Stadium next week.
“My quad is still hurting,” Harrington said. “I know I have to fight through it and push myself. I want to go out as a state champion.”
Harrington injured himself as last month’s county track meet in the 100-meters event. He pulled up half through the race and has sat out of practice since the late match injury.
This was the first week that he has returned to practice.
“You could see that he was hurting,” Alexander coach Steve Duncan said. “He got out but you can see he wasn’t fully at 100 percent out here. He is still trying to get in shape. He was really rusted.”
But still managed to qualify in two individual events and a relay.
Alexander amassed 180 points to win the team title while Douglas County placed second with 96 points. Creekside and Mays tied for fourth with 67 points while New Manchester was fifth with 58 points.
On Tuesday after finishing second in the triple jump, Harrington failed to make it to the finals in the 100 event.
“It was disappointing because I wanted to go in that event,” he said. “I just have to concentrate on the other three events. I’m in a good position to place high at Sectionals and make it to state.”
However, he is taking nothing for granted.
“I still have to come out and perform,” he said. “I’m going to push myself.”
Duncan said finding that balance in not over working will be the key to his sprinter’s success moving forward.
“We are still nursing the leg,” Duncan said. “He has to keep moving. We don’t want to overdo it.”
Harrington definitely don’t want the injury to prolong into the summer as he begins training for football. In February, he signed a scholarship with Appalachian State, where he could see some playing time as a freshman.
Harrington rushed for 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns this past season in helping lead the Cougars to the second round of the state playoffs. Alexander finished runner-up to Mays for the Region 5-AAAAAA title.
For his two-year career at Alexander, Harrington rushed for 2,942 yards and 32 touchdowns in 23 games. He is also a reliable receiver out of the backfield with 26 career receptions for 432 yards and four touchdowns.