Pendergast Pushes Towards Drake

Jack Pendergast talks Drake Relays and pushing through the season. Check it out on the Gazette online!


Alexis Haggstrom, Journalist

This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Drake Relays. It also marks junior Jack Pendergast’s second potential qualification in the Blue Oval.


“Drake is coming up pretty soon. I’m trying to qualify the rest of my events there,” said Pendergast, currently ranked second in the state.


While Pendergast hasn’t hit the automatic standards, he believes he’ll be in for his two mile. His other event is the one mile.


“He’s almost for sure qualified in the 3200,” said Prairie High School’s track and field coach Bill Schwarz.


Pendergast is back this year and aims to shatter even more records.


“I’m trying to break the school record for the two mile this year; 9:12 by Mitch Pritts,” said Pendergast.


His personal record is 9:39.97.


“At Drake I want to go into 9:20’s or 9:10’s. For the mile I want to go under 4:20.” said Pendergast.


One of Pritt’s records has already been broken by Pendergast.


“I did get a new indoor school record for the two mile,” said Pendergast of this season’s accomplishments. He shaved five seconds off the previous time at Iowa State Boys’ High School Classic.


Drake is only two weeks away. State is two months.


“He works extremely hard. He’s extremely serious about it,” said Schwarz.


All of the hard work doesn’t come easy. Earned physical fitness and rankings are important but mental fitness can’t be sidelined.


“I feel like I’ve been having a mental block. Other than my breathing, I should be going faster. Mentally, I need to get into the race more and leave nothing else,” said Pendergast.


Mental blocks are a challenge many athletes overcome. Pendergast is aware of how to manage the pressure not only he places on himself, but others as well.


“To be honest, I feel pressure from the team. That’s manageable, that’s normal. I have to perform and do my best but I put a lot of pressure in myself to do good because I want to achieve my goals,” said Pendergast.