COVINGTON, Ga. — Michael Simmons has been a star for Eastside’s track and field throughout his four-year career. The senior runner has not missed a beat his final season with the Eagles either.
Away from the track, however, he’s taken time to soak each experience more.
“I’m just enjoying these moments with my teammates, because it’s my last year,” Simmons said. “I’ve been running the 100-meter and 200-meter more. I haven’t run them as often in the past.”
Speaking of the 100-meter and 200-meter runs, Simmons has shone the brightest in those competitions.
In his inaugural meet on March 4, Simmons placed first in the 100-meter (10.72) and 200-meter (21.54) at the Javianne Oliver Invitational hosted by Monroe Area.
A week later, he finished second in the 100-meter with a 10.83 final time at Eagle’s Landing’s Chick-Fil-A Invite.
At the Archer All-Comers on March 15, Simmons took first place honors in the 100-meter (10.95). Then, on March 22 at the Grayson All-Comers, Simmons finished second in the 100-meter (10.93) and first in the 200-meter (21.87).
Simmons’ latest feat saw him record the best finish in the 100-meter run. He ended in first place at the Chee Relays — hosted by Apalachee High School on March 30 — with a season best 10.71 final time.
According to Simmons, winning that particular competition was gratifying.
“I got to race a former state champion, so it was a really nice meet,” Simmons said. “He was also a Division I football commit.”
It hasn’t been smooth sailing 100% of the time for Simmons in his final year as an Eagle, though. Sometime during this season, he “tweaked his hamstring.”
However, Simmons believes that has only helped him strengthen his game.
“I’ve gotten better with dealing with adversity,” Simmons said. “Last year, I wasn’t mentally strong, so I wasn’t able to run my best race. But I’ve gotten better with my mental approach.”
Simmons began running track as a student at Cousins Middle School.
“Everyone was like, ‘Hey, try out for the track team,’” Simmons said. “We were at the gym and the coaches saw me running. So, they suggested I try out and I did.”
That placed Simmons on the fast track to his substantial career at Eastside. Come to mention it, Simmons even made headlines before this season began.
He made his next step official by signing his national letter of intent to run for Florida A&M’s track squad beginning this upcoming fall. Simmons signed the scholarship on Feb. 28.
But, before he starts getting ready for collegiate level, Simmons wants to end his high school career with a bang.
This week, the Eagles will compete in the Region 8-AAAAA meet at Loganville High School from Tuesday, April 25 through Thursday, April 27.
Simmons’ approach won’t change much.
“The plan is to keep working in practice and keep getting better,” Simmons said. “I want to have some strong performances at the region meet.”