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Winona Open 07

Winona High sprinter Robert Warren competes in the 100-meter dash during last season's Winona Open at Paul Giel Field.

Chuck Miller, Daily News

Losing is pretty subjective in track and field.

Some consider a third place finish a win, while some are angered by taking second place.

Others consider anything but a first place finish a loss — count Winona Senior High School’s Robert Warren among the latter group of people.

“Overall, the season is going pretty good,” Warren said. “I’ve only lost one time in the 100 (meter dash).”

The one loss he mentioned was a second-place finish in the first meet of the season — ever since, Warren has been first across the finish line each time he’s competed in the 100.

Warren said the highlight of the season so far came a few weeks ago, when he broke the school record in the 100 with a time of 10.78 seconds. The previous record was a 10.85 belonging to Travion Clark, who went on to run for University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The week before the record-setting meet, Warren broke the Paul Giel track record with a 10.86 and said he had a suspicion he could take the record eventually.

A week of practice and prep later, he was able to accomplish just that.

“I got a haircut that day, so maybe that could have helped,” Warren said laughingly. “It happened to be good weather and all that. I just went out and ran.”

Warren said he’s been running track since he was a freshman and he originally joined just to prepare for football — years later it has become a passion and it means a lot to him to hold the record.

Warren said as a freshman he used to say he was going to get the record one day after running an 11.5. Each season since, the goal became more and more real.

“Since my first year of track they told me I could break the record if I keep trying,” Warren said. “I thought, ‘If Trey can do it, I can do it.’”

It hasn’t always been a smooth path for Warren — the sprinter has battled injuries his entire career, including an injury which kept him sidelined for almost the entirety of his junior season.

“Being able to be at your top performance is definitely better than having to deal with an injury and working through it,” Warren said. “I’ve been doing more to avoid them like stretching and taking warm-ups more seriously.”

Warren said a big part of his health and performance comes from the structure the team has developed this season. He said everything in practice is much more organized and efficient.

“We have a small team, but we work,” Warren said. “We have organized workouts… there’s no ‘show up for practice and you don’t know what you’re doing.’ You’re always going to know what you’re doing.”

Warren said he’s bittersweet about high school athletics ending, but he still has one big piece of unfinished business.

“I’ve never been to state yet,” Warren said. “I’m keeping that in my mind, keeping that in the back of my head. Yeah, I’m running fast times, but I have to run these same times when they count.”

Warren’s 100 time is second in the state, trailing Hopkins’ Joe Fahnbulleh (10.7), and well below the state meet’s qualifying standard of 11.03. The state track and field meet is June 8-9 at Hamline University in St. Paul.

“I got a haircut that day, so maybe that could have helped.” —Robert Warren, WSHS senior on breaking school 100-meter dash record
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