Travis Massey is one of Brunswick High’s boys track team stars, and he solidified a spot in the history books after his 10.57 100-meter dash time at regions.
Not only did he break the school record, but he is also currently the No. 1 runner in Class 6A and the fastest boy in Georgia, according to Milesplit.
Brunswick High coach Brian Edwards said Massey is an excellent example of hard work paying off.
“It’s just a great sight to see him have the success that he’s having now and to see how it’s happening,” Edwards said. “It started with just chipping away at the time, and then he jumped out the blocks. It was almost like he was floating, so it’s a great representation of all the hard work he’s put in, coaches have put in, and really the team. So when he got off the block, he looked like he had maybe a three or four-step lead on everybody.”
Assistant coach Danielle Hamilton also said he’s worked extremely hard since the beginning of the season and what’s changed is his focus. When the season started, Massey let things get into his mind when he needed to be focused on running. That isn’t a problem he has anymore.
“So with Travis, he’s gotten into the zone where he’s able to block out what’s going on around him,” Hamilton said. “Like our first couple of meets, one especially the Fitzgerald meet, there were people on the line, and they were betting on him because they knew him and another boy were fast.
“He was not able to block that out, and he didn’t perform as well. To see him now, he’s gotten to the point where he’s able to block out what’s going on around him, and he’s more focused. He’s also becoming more confident within himself because he knows he’s fast, but he doesn’t feel like he’s as fast.”
Massey said he’s done a lot of training and has bought into what his coaches are teaching him.
“I have trained a lot in the preseason and trusted the process of this upcoming season,” Massey said. “I did speed drills, lifting weights, and some CrossFit to prepare for the season.”
Edwards said this journey began a year ago when Massey defeated Glynn Academy speedster Nolan Grant.
“When he beat him that day, that kind of unlocked something for him,” Edwards said.
At the region meet at Richmond Hill, Massey, and his fellow teammates didn’t finish the 4x100 relay like they wanted to. Instead of letting that bother him, Edwards and Hamilton both said he channeled that frustration into a zone they hadn’t seen him in before.
“The thing I love about Travis, he was intent on not losing another race the rest of the day,” Edwards said. “When it blinked on the Richmond Hill scoreboard and showed a 10.5, the first thing I said was ‘Oh, my.’ We all know that Travis is fast, but that’s a different tier he ran. I’ll never forget looking at the other coaches saying, ‘Oh, that’s tough.’ I went immediately to him, and Travis just looked like he’d been running 10.5’s. He’s definitely on a mission this year to do something special.”
“We had a bad handoff for our 4x100 relay, and he was mad,” Hamilton said. “He didn’t express that with his teammates, and he was still able to remain focused. Although Travis was upset, he channeled that energy onto the track. In the beginning, he would really let things get to him, but now he’s found a way — if he doesn’t perform well, he channels that energy and let it turn out to be something positive. That’s him running times that we haven’t seen this season.”
Massey said it felt amazing to run that time.
“Before I ran, I was in the zone and focusing on the race,” Massey said. “I wasn’t feeling anxious, but I just felt the adrenaline rush. It was a great feeling to beat the school record, and I was in shock when I heard what I just did.”
This season, Hamilton, along with fellow assistant coach John Williams — who Massey has worked with since he was a freshman — worked on him getting off the block along with some endurance training to keep him going for the last part of these races.
Some days they would work on block start progressions, then resistant block starts.
“We would get the resistance bands, wrap it around him as he’s coming out the block, and he would have to drive. So that helped with his explosiveness,” Hamilton said. “Then some days would consist of some 300s, 200s, 100s. Then some days, he might have a 400-meter buildup, 400-meter breakdown. It might be multiple sets and reps of 200. So just things like those endurance-type workouts as well as explosive speed progression.”
Hamilton said it’s crucial to come off the block because that can define how he performs. She said it’s essential in any of the races Massey participates in, but especially the 100.
“He’s gotten to the point where he’s mastered getting out the blocks really fast and being explosive with it,” Hamilton said.
The last thing they’re working on Massey with is the last five to 10 meters of a race, which Hamilton said he did at regions to beat David Nash from Bradwell Institute.
Hamilton said she doesn’t think this 10.57 is Massey’s peak. She believes he’s got a little more in the tank, and they’re hoping it comes out for sectionals and state.
“I told him if he stays focus and confident, I do believe that he will probably hit a 10.4,” Hamilton said. “That’s what we’re aiming for at sectionals, and then I know for sure at state. When we start seeing the other regions like region eight, I think that will push him. So I don’t believe he has peaked at 10.5, but I do believe he might run a 10.4, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a 10.3 between sectionals and state.”
Massey isn’t all about himself either. Edwards said he’s more focused on winning as a team than individually. While he knows what kind of attention a 10.5 brings him, Massey would rather help his team win than focus on himself.
“The thing about Travis is, he told me, ‘Coach, right now I just want to focus on the team and what we have to do at sectionals and state,’” Edwards said. “He has the opportunity to run at the next level, but that’s just a great teammate. He’s not focused on that right now. He’s just focused on the relay team and himself making it through sectionals, and they compete on the state level.”
After the 10.57 time, Edwards said he had people start calling him to figure out who Massey is. He’s gotten attention from Fort Valley State and has a full deal from South Carolina State on the table.
Massey said he’d gotten a lot of recognition since posting that insane number.
“I have gotten a lot of recognition and praise from the community for beating the school record,” Massey said. “Our team made schools and people more invested in our track program after that happened.”
He said his goals are to take his 4x100 relay team to state and make it as an individual.
Edwards said there are about three more races between him and a state title. Massey will be one of 16 guys running the 100 at Johns Creek on May 8 at Sectionals. To advance, he’ll have to place in the top eight. If he does that, then he will participate in the state track meet May 12-15.