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When presented with stressful situations, athletes are inclined to break down and revert to their natural instincts. But if they can somehow stay in the moment, focus on their fundamentals and retain their form, athletes can turn nerves into glory.

That mind-set has been the key to Denzel Pierre’s improvement over the current track and field postseason. Or perhaps put another way, Pierre has gotten faster by practicing what he’s been taught.

Pierre, a junior sprinter for the Cedar Crest boys’ track and field squad, has seen his times slowly go down since the postseason has hit. And such was the case at the Lancaster-Lebanon League meet at Hempfield on Saturday.

Pierre ran a 10.89 to win the 100-meter dash by an eyelash over Hempfield’s Tory Long and Northern Lebanon’s Joe Vedilago. Pierre also ran the anchor leg for a Cedar Crest 400-meter relay team which surprisingly struck gold.

Two weeks earlier, at the Lebanon County Meet, Pierre burst on to the local sprinting postseason by upsetting Vedilago in the 100-meter dash.

So how low can Pierre go? That will be just one of the local subplots as the District Three and PIAA Championships unfold over the next two weekends at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.


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