Charleston – For Nicholas County’s Natalie Barr, 2020 holds many questions.
Amongst them is ‘How would she have fared during her freshman season of track had Covid not canceled it?’
If the last year is any indication the answer is pretty well.
Barr, the defending Class AA girls 800-meter run state champion, added another first-place medal to her collection Thursday, defending her title with a time of 2:22.37 at the State Track Meet at Laidley Field in Charleston.
“It feels good to do it two years in a row,” Barr said. “It makes it feel like it wasn’t a fluke or something. It’s more enjoyable.”
Coming in with a target on her back, the junior tried not to worry about anybody else this season and instead work on improving. As difficult as that strategy was at times she executed it, winning the event comfortably by two seconds despite trailing after the first 400 meters.
“The best thing to do is just not overthink it and focus on your goals instead of what other girls are running,” Barr said. “You just have to focus on what you’re doing and everyone else will do the same. I found myself comparing times with other girls a lot and I would tend to get down so it’s easier said than done but you have to keep your mind on yourself and keep getting better.”
Staying true to that mindset, Barr set two goals coming into the title meet, one of which she could control.
“I wanted win or set a new PR (personal record), ” Barr said. “I was hoping to break 2:20.”
Barr finished two seconds off at 2:22, but still bested the time of 2:24 that won her last year’s title.
Already a two-time champion and only a junior, Barr wants to continue to add to her medal count with the opportunity to three-peat on the table. But she’s not looking that far ahead, learning a valuable lesson as a freshman.
“I want to digest this one first,” Barr smiled. “I’ve been through this before, anticipating the next state meet and it doesn’t do you any good to worry about it. You’ve just got to enjoy the moment because tomorrow’s not promised.”