Williston senior Mike Dereus set a New England Prep School Track Association Division II record in the 100-meter dash at the New England Championships last Saturday with a time a 10.84 seconds. Dereus also won the 200-meter dash in 22.28 seconds and was named the Championship’s Most Outstanding Athlete.
“Before the race I was a nervous wreck,” the Hyde Park, Massachusetts-native admitted as the 100-meter dash approached. “I didn’t know what to expect from my competition because I had not raced against them before.”
However, Dereus was able to stay focused on his pre-race routine with help from his coaches. “I had a lot of pep talk from my coaching staff, including Mr. Rivers,” Dereus said. Coach Rivers “just kept telling me to, ‘think like a lion,’ despite what the circumstances were.”
When the time came, Dereus was ready to leave everything on the track. “During the race, I just went through my progressions and hit a gear I’ve never hit before knowing my track career was coming to an end after that race,” he said. “I didn’t have any initial excitement until later on the next day because the feeling was surreal and everything happened so fast.”
“My coaches pushed me everyday in practice,” Dereus added, crediting his coaches for helping him set the New England 100-meter dash record. “They are the reason I was able to push my body to new limits.”
Head Track Coach Chris Pelliccia knew that Dereus was destined for a special season after Dereus’ strong start to the spring. He said, “Mike showed he was ready for a stellar season when he posted a time of 10.68 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 22.2 seconds in the 200-meter dash at Cheshire, our second meet of the season. He remained undefeated at these distances all season long and capped them off with convincing wins at the New England Championships, where he ran away from the field.”
Congratulations, Mike, on a great finish to an exceptional track career for the Wildcats!