BONNYVILLE – Bonnyville-native Mason Sartain is ready to make a dash across the border to further his track and field aspirations.
While the sprinter is moving on from the Lakeland Yellowjackets where he got his start, Sartain will be joining the NCAA Division II Yellow Jackets track and field team after committing to Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
“They’ve always excelled in their longer distance sprints, but the last few years they’ve been really building their sprints program more because they’ve always had a little bit of an issue recruiting faster sprinters,” Sartain explained. “We just thought it was really cool to see and I decided I’m going to be part of that.”
When the 17-year-old isn’t busy training, he’ll be studying business management.
“I was really undecided for a bit on what I wanted to do, which most kids are,” Sartain noted, adding the different options the program offers career-wise is why he chose it.
“You can become the manager of your own store with that and it just helps you. I feel like it’s an area that really just helps you excel in the workforce.”
It’s no secret that Sartain set a huge goal for himself early-on in his track and field journey, and he’s been working towards it for five years.
“When I looked at my dad back in Grade 8 and said ‘I want to run track for the rest of my life.’ I decided right then and there that I was going to the Olympics,” Sartain recalled, adding he believes committing to Black Hills University can help him get there.
“We just have to wait and see until I see my coach down there and I see what he gives me. Then I do competitions and see how well I perform.”
Sartain began to train around Grade 8 and his career took off when he joined the Lakeland Yellowjackets, the local track and field team. Sartain stepped up to the blocks at his first international competition this year at the Simplot Games Indoor Track and Field Tournament at Idaho State University from Feb. 13 to 15. The invite-only event saw the best of the best compete to see who would take the top spot.
Although the coronavirus cancelled this year's outdoor track and field competition season, Sartain has still been hard at work training five times a week to “get prepared for university so I can be as fresh as possible.”
Joining the Lakeland Yellowjackets and the support he received from coach Larry Godziuk were crucial in getting Sartain to this point.
“We wouldn’t have been able to go to all these track meets and know about the track team. We wouldn’t have made it this far,” he expressed.
From day one, Sartain has had the complete support from his family and friends when it came to achieving his Olympic dreams.
“(My parents) have always been there for me and it’s awesome. Same goes for my friends and other family members, they’ve always been there for me, telling me I can do it and it’s good encouragement to keep me going.”