After careful research, Bonnyville track athlete Mason Sartain has signed his letter of intent and will be attending Black Hills State in South Dakota, where he intends to continue competing in track meets as well as earn his Business Manager’s degree.
Sartain said that attending Black Hills was important to him for it’s close proximity to home, its sprint program, and for the university’s prestigious business program, which is ranked in the top 10 per cent of those available.
Though he is excited to attend the university, Sartain admits that being away from friends and family will be a challenge for him.
“They’ve really helped me through the years. I know I’ll have my new team, but they (my friends and family) really helped me through this.”
Sartain first became interested track when in Grade 10 he noticed how much much faster he was than not only his classmates but many of his older peers.
This led him to join the Lakeland Yellowjackets under Coach Larry Godziuk, going on to win four gold medals, three silver, and four bronze after an impressive indoor season, followed by a further ten goldd and four silvers during the outdoor season.
When asked for his thoughts on Sartain as an athlete Coach Godziuk said that he was extremely coachable, and open to new ideas.
“When you move on to provincial and national levels of competition, you need to be prepared for what new coaches will do differently, and that’s something Mason’s been very good at. He’s never been afraid to work hard, and that work ethic was something I picked up on from the beginning,” said Godziuk.
Credit is also due to Sartain’s father, Kevin, who has been an integral part of his son’s journey, often acting as a second coach.
“There’s been a lot of hours, and a lot missed dinners, and for it to happen now, this is what the plan was. We made it.”
Kevin is a longtime member of the local football association, but has pulled away from his football passions in the last few years in order to support Mason’s track interests.
He reflected that he would miss being on the track with his son and Coach Godziuk, saying that it would often be the three of them along with Mason’s cousin Alese, an accomplished track runner in her own right.
Sartain will not get the chance to become district and zone champion for the third year in a row, due to COVID-19.
Still, he remains excited for his future at Black Hills.