Clay's Carl Buchanon has not lost a single hurdles race he has competed in so far in 2007. In fact, his races are rarely close. The Colonial senior blazes over the hurdles and across the finish line so fast, it's as if he ran the race without the hurdles on the track.
Buchanon isn't just a hurdler, he's an exception person.
"Over the past four years, he's just been a joy to be around," says Clay track coach Earl Hairston. "He's a great leader, has great character and is a great student in the classroom. He doesn't have a big head and he doesn't let success go to his head."
Hairston says that Buchanon is the first one on the track for practice and the last one leaving it each and every day.
"I didn't get to this point by just showing up and by talent," Buchanon says. "I came our here, went to practice, worked very hard and had great motivation from my coaches and my parents."
For the Buchanons, the track is like a second home. Carl mentors his younger brother Jarrod (a freshman) in the hurdles, his mom is an assistant coach on the girls team, and his dad was a former all-star in college.
"My dad taught me how to run the hurdles," says Buchanon. "At first I wasn't sure if it was what I wanted, but once i got used to it, I knew it was what I wanted to do."
"To now pass along that knowledge to my brother is great," Buchanon continued. "For me to able to teach him something other than algebra or Spanish, to be on the track with him---we're building an athletic bond. Its great."
Jarrod agrees. "He teaches me a lot of things and its easier hearing it from him than others sometimes. He also teaches me a lot about leadership and sportsmanship. He shows me how to say good job after the races and to congratulate everyone we raced with."
Carl's hard work has paid off in an athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan. Buchanon is very excited to continue his career at the Division I level. But he also has some unfinished business to take care of before heading north.
Buchanon wants to win state in the 110 high hurdlers and the 300 intermediate hurdlers. He is currently ranked 2nd in the state in both. The person ranked 1st is Bryce Brown of Evansville. Brown is the two-time defending state champion and the main reason Buchanon has not captured state gold in the past.