Freshman Chris Bass races to victory


Nick Altmann

Freshman Chris Bass sprints in the 4×400 relay after freshman Kevin Chen hands off the baton.

When starting track, most freshmen don’t begin being assigned the maximum number of events at their first meet. However, this doesn’t apply to freshman Chris Bass, who became this year’s Rookie of the Year.

“At my first meet, I noticed that I had five events and you’re only supposed to have four. It wasn’t really a big deal, but once I got one cut off, it was a relief. I’ve continued to have lots of events ever since, and now I’m just okay with it,” Bass said.

Out of all the events in a track meet, the only events Bass hasn’t run this season are the two mile, one mile, 800m and the 100m.

“Chris has done long jump, he’s done high jump, he’s done relays, he’s done open races and he’s done the triple jump,” track coach Kristen Witt. “He was the freshman Parkway Quad High Jump Champion. He won second place in the long jump too. He’s done almost every event this season.”

In addition, Bass has won numerous awards along with Rookie of the Year, such as being the freshman Parkway Quad High Jump Champion, winning second in the long jump and gaining his “red legs.”

“He earned what we call his ‘red legs,’” Witt said. “There’s a time board down in the P.E. hallway. In order to get nicer sweats, you have to run certain times and he earned it a few meets ago. He ran a super fast 400m in 52.46. That’s a super decent time for a freshman.”

Of all the accomplishments he’s made this season, Bass thinks his progress in long jumping was the most incredible. He jumped 19 feet and 9 inches.

“When I compare it to what I did last year, this year was a huge increase and I was proud of that,” Bass said. “Last year, my best was between 15 and 16. This year, if I would average it, it would be about 18.5 feet. Going up by that much and going over to 19 feet was a big accomplishment for me.”

But looking for the future, Bass is not entirely sure what to expect.

“I’m going to continue,” Bass said. “It’s definitely hard to say what to expect because with the accomplishments I’ve done as a freshman, it’s kind of asking yourself, ‘What can I do now? Will I ever get higher? Will I ever do better than what I’ve done?’ I seriously hope I can achieve better than what I’ve done this year.”