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Terry Santos: a perfectionist at heart

The stage is set, and the 2010 outdoor track and field theater has already exploded with one of the best 300-meter hurdle times in state, courtesy of King George High School senior Terry Santos. Thanks to his performance at the Bob Murray Invitational last week, the State qualifier has already ensured himself a spot on the Fox team in the 300-meter hurdles, 110-meter hurdles and 4x100 meter relay events.
How fast is Santos? Even the Ferrum College-bound psychology major does know the answer that million dollar question — because every time steps onto the track, he continues to improve in nearly every one of his events. In addition, the blistering speedster has only competed in track for two years.
Most recently at the Caroline Invitational, Santos blew out the field as he placed first in the 300 meters with a time of 40.22, distancing himself from a field of 16 schools. In a show of dominance, Santos also placed first in the 110 hurdles (15.58), before adding points to his team with a fifth place finish in the high jump (6’), a eighth place finish in the triple jump (39’9”), a sixth place finish in the long jump (19’7”) and contributing to a third place finish for the 4x100 relay team (43.91).

Because of his current time status in the 300 meters, Santos now ranks among some of the best track and field athletes in the state. He is ranked higher than Louisa’s Dante Davis. Davis helped his alma mater win the Jefferson District title and the Region II outdoor track and field championship last year.

Last season, Santo made All-State in outdoor track and field, after finishing seventh in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.64.
Along with Joe Walton and R.J. Brown, Santos is among the top point producers for the boys track and field outdoor program. However, with all the accolades that he has earned as a hurdler, Santos is often reminded of his rocky journey to the top.
“When I first started, I can honestly say that I was the worst hurdler on the team,” Santos said recently during a track and field practice. “But a former teammate, Brandon Boone, reminded me to keep working hard, and that he could see me getting better. When Brandon graduated, I knew it was my job to step up.”
During winter track and field, Santos finished second in the Regional Championship with a  time of 8.06 in the 55-meter hurdles — qualifying him for the AA Indoor State Championships.
Although track will always be one of his favorite sports, his first love has always been football. In fact, it was his tackle that prevented the Drifters from a possible rally during the first game of the football season last fall.
“When Terry puts his mind to whatever he does, he is unstoppable,” KGHS head football coach Jeff Smith said. “There were some games that I could not believe what he had done on the field. There were some games where a team would double-team him, more often than not, a team’s entire game plan was focused on Terry. He held the position of defensive end down.”
Inspired by his brothers, Lorenzo and Lavontay, Santos took an interest in track, and two years later, it has paid off in dividends for both his school and the legacy he will leave behind.
“I really didn’t get into sports until high school, and track was something I could work on and improve.”
Santos also played basketball two years, and is highly regarded by his peers as role model both in and out of the classroom.

Leonard M. Banks

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