Learning from hurdle legends like Conner West, Matthew Nali and Jackson Potter. DJ Aponik symbolizes the dedication, hard work, and discipline it takes for anyone to become great in something they truly put their mind to.
Finishing in Foothill League Finals last years as the second best hurdle in 110's and third best in the 300's by one one-thousandth of a second, Dj will be looking to become the best hurdler in both events for the 2016 Season.
After a 3rd place finish by one one-thousandth to second place finisher Justin Baltau of Valencia. DJ in his words talked about how he felt. "I actually wasn't too disappointed with the third place finish at League Finals in the 300s. Running against Justin is always a thrilling time because of how close we are. I beat him Sophomore year at finals, he beat Junior year at Hart vs. Valencia, and we both hit a time of 40.83 at League Finals." However, the most important lesson he learned may have been at CIF Prelims.
Entering his first CIF appearance, Dj has learned many lessons of what to fix going into the 2016 season. He explains,"CIF was very humbling. It is easy to get too confident when there are only two, maybe three other competitors in league that pose a threat. CIF showed me what good actually looked like, and frankly, I wasn't it. Alex Billing, Khalil Dorsey, and Connor Meech were miles ahead of where I was. I really realized that I have so much more room and potential to improve. The main thing stopping me from being able to compete with these guys was myself. Maybe I won't be able to set records like Billing but I've set my eyes on CIF next year and I am determined to make Hart and the Foothill League proud."
During the off season DJ has been preparing like no tomorrow. He says, " Throughout the off season I've been spending much more time in the gym and on the track than I have in previous years. In the past I have been limited by my raw speed and power. I made up for this weakness Sophomore and Junior year with stride and consistency through races. I look to gain the power and quickness necessary to improve my start, speed between the hurdles, and turnover time. (That's what I call the time it takes to get up, over, and down off the hurdle). I'm also working on flexibility a lot. Basically I am trying to improve everything." Much preparation is needed for someone to become the best. DJ is the exact definition of preparation.
DJ Aponik will be one of the people to definitely watch this season. It's DJ Aponik's turn to take the torch and continue the Hart legacy that has been paved for him.