OTTUMWA — Charlette Flanders has had a solid run on Ottumwa's track and field team filled with a couple of trips to the Class 4A state championship.
Today, Flanders, who qualified for state in the 4x400 relay last spring and also competes in the 400 meters, is ready for her final run as a member of the Ottumwa track and field team.
Flanders has adopted a simple, straightforward goal for her swan song with the Bulldogs.
"Just to put my best out there," she said. "To work hard everyday. Just to make sure and give it my all each race I have."
But Flanders said running in races like the 400 meters and the 4x400 relay requires an arduous training regimen that allows for no downtime in the offseason.
"It's a year long training," she said, "working hard, doing repeat 400s, repeat 300s, and just making sure you're mentally and physically prepared for the race."
Of the two races she competes in, Flanders said the relay race presents a greater challenge.
"I believe the 4x400 is harder because you have a team there and you don't want to let them down," she said.
The senior runner prepares for each race in a similar fashion.
"Before each event I always make the sign of the cross and tell myself to 'believe in myself and to just go in there with confidence,'" Flanders said.
When the track season wraps, however, there will be some things Flanders will really miss about being a part of the program.
"What I will miss the most is that we're really a big family unit," Flanders said, "even though we come from different parts of different social groups we come together as a family at the end of the day."
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