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Bagley reflects on hurdles career, looks forward to postseason meets
Chandler Bagley has rapidly improved to become a competitive hurdler in Region 7-AAA. He will continue his hurdling career at Truett McConnell University. - photo by Rio White

Over the past four years, senior hurdler Chandler Bagley has grown to become one of the most consistent performers on the Dawson County track and field team.

From beginning his high school career without ever having tried track and field to now being committed to continuing his hurdling career at the collegiate level, Bagley’s passion for the sport has allowed him to reach unforeseen heights.

As his senior year drew to a close, Bagley worked to recover from a hamstring injury in time to compete at the Region 7-AAA meet last week.

Bagley’s career as the hurdles specialist at DCHS began as simply as many other athletes’ careers — through his friends convincing him to join them on the track and field team.

After attempting distance races at first, Bagley settled on hurdles and gradually worked his way into achieving competitive times in practice and then at meets.

Like many other spring athletes, Bagley’s sophomore season was cut short due to the onset of the pandemic. But uniquely, he felt that he was hitting his stride and that his times were rapidly improving — only to be robbed of that progress.

Despite the sudden end to his season, his motivation and desire to improve his skills only increased.

“I was going to do everything I could to get that time back,” Bagley said. “That’s really what made me want to keep going.”

His decision to keep going paid off by becoming strong enough of a hurdler to compete at the collegiate level, committing to Truett McConnell University earlier this school year.

This season, Bagley showed that he has the skills necessary to compete at the college level. He has twice run the 300-meter hurdles event under 45 seconds at meets and will be looking to consistently beat that at Truett McConnell.

Considering his and the entire team’s resiliency this year after two pandemic-affected seasons, he did not want to allow his ailment to stop him from competing at his best during the postseason. 

“Right now I am feeling pretty good and very rested. [The injury] hasn’t been bothering me much anymore,” Bagley said. “I’m feeling ready to go out and compete. Whatever God wills is what will happen.”

While Bagley will be continuing his hurdling career at Truett McConnell, he also has an intended major of education with a focus in science and social studies. He also intends to minor in exercise science so he can coach track and field at a school sometime in the future.

Outside of track and field, Bagley enjoys drawing, painting and playing the guitar. He also possesses a colorfully decorated water bottle with stickers that represent some of the influences in his life.

These included two stickers from Young Life camps he has attended as well as one for the Shaky Knees music festival.

Bagley participated in the 300-meter hurdles event at the Region 7-AAA Track Championships hosted by Cherokee Bluff. He clocked in with a time of 49.14 seconds in the preliminary round.

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