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Athlete of the Week
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If the school colors for Newton High School were red and yellow, Travis Knight would no doubt be nicknamed "The Flash" or "The Scarlet Speedster."

Nevertheless, "Blue Streak" or "Blue Blast" will have to do for now, as blue and white are the colors of the Rams.

On Saturday, Knight won the boys cross country individual region title with a personal best time of 17 minutes and 36 seconds. As a result, the senior helped propel his team to the state championships this weekend in Carrollton for the fourth consecutive year in a row.

"Well, he set a personal record and that's always what you're looking for," said Newton head coach Aaron Robinson, "so, we're really happy about that. It was a tough competition, but Travis ran a great race."

Based on his performance, Knight has been selected as the Chick-fil-A Prep Athlete of the Week.

"It feels good," remarked Knight of his unprecedented feat. "It's been three years in the making. Our old coach (Scott Rains) got me started in cross country, and I'm really glad he did. If it hadn't been for him I would have never been here; I wouldn't take anything back."

Knight has run track since the seventh grade, but has been running cross country since his sophomore year. However, the 18-year-old has been running on his own since he was 10.

"It's a big team sport and I like the team aspect," said Knight. "I figured I'd give it a shot and it ended up being a big thing for me. It's a big part of my life now."

Knight began the day of the region meet just like any other day, except this time around he was more mentally prepared than any other previous race.

"Well, I woke up pretty early and ate a good breakfast," recalled Knight. "I knew what I had to do, and it was my last shot to do it being a senior. So, I had to make sure I left nothing out there and didn't hold anything back."

He didn't. In fact, he set the table for the most important weekend of his racing career, and perhaps something better to come for the Rams.

"I just want to break that 17:36 time that I ran here last weekend," said Knight, "because state is a fast race and there will be a lot of guys running fast. I just want to go out with a personal best since this is my last cross country race in high school."

Knight currently has several colleges interested in him, including Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville and Gordon. Academically, Knight sustains A's and B's and has a grade point average above 3.0.

"I think my parents do a really good job," said Knight. "They've taught me to never really give up for what you want to do, and that no one else can do it but you. If you want it bad enough, go get it."

That certainly proved true during the region meet, in which Knight outlasted everybody else. And come Saturday, "Blue Blast" is looking for the same kind of result.

Along with his parents and Rains, Robinson and assistant coach Eddie Hood have really helped develop Knight as a top contender.

"Travis was in the best shape I've ever seen him at the start of the season," praised Robinson. "The way he's performing now is because of all the training he did over the summer. Now he's even in better shape and the potential for him is just unlimited."