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Athlete of the Week: Long breaks two North Hall records
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North Hall runner Nick Long wanted to get his final year of running track for the Trojans off to a strong start.

Over the course of one week he managed to accomplish that goal.

On March 15 at the Georgia Tech Coaches Invitational in Atlanta, Long broke the 22-year-old school record in the 1600 meters with a time of 4:26.55 and then followed that performance with another record-breaking run Thursday when, in a meet against Flowery Branch, Long ran a time of 1:57.01 in the 800 meters to break the old school record of 1:58 held by his friend and former teammate Johnny Jimenez.

Long also holds the school record in the 3200 meters, which he set at the state championships in 2006, with a time of 9:51.05.

For his efforts, the North Hall senior has been named the athlete of the week.

"I’m overwhelmed with the way this season has started," Long said. "The guys that came before me, like Johnny (Jimenez), helped me do this. They pushed me so hard."

Long worked diligently in the offseason and in the fall during the Trojans’ cross country season to recover from a collapsed lung that, despite a third-place finish in the 3200 meters at the Class AAA state track and field championships, compromised his performance during his junior campaign.

"He’s picked up where he left off last season," North Hall track coach Joe Bradshaw said.

"He’s gotten stronger and the cross country season really helped him move on from the injury.

"The long distance guys are a close-knit group and they have been training for track season since right after cross country ended."

Long, who won a state championship in 2006 in the 3200 meters, expects to be in the running for another state title at the end of this track season.

"I want to win state this year in the 800 meters and the mile," Long said. "I want to go out having left a mark."

According to his coach, Long already has in more ways than just the record books.

"He leads by example," Bradshaw said. "He gives it all he’s got everytime he runs and the guys look up to him and respect how hard he works and his talent."

The Trojans’ next meet is today at Jefferson High.

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