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Track duo finds success in hurdles

Josh Herman and Cayleigh Blair double as team captains in addition to running the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. Both have a great shot at
qualifying for the District meet.

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected] Herman and Cayleigh Blair are no strangers when it comes to performing before large crowds. Herman was a key performer on the record-setting football team in 2017 while Blair was captain of the cheerleading squad that played a significant role in getting fans pumped up at football and basketball games.
The duo serves as captains of the track team, and they both specialize in the same event. Each has experienced success in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles so far.
“I just love to compete,” said Herman. “It doesn’t matter to me how many people are in the stands as long as my mom and dad are cheering for me. I’ve always been a competitor, and I always want to win. It’s the same for me in track as it was in football. I’m always going to give it my all.”
Herman finished second in his first meet and took third during the most recent one in both events. His game plan is a simple one.
“I’m always trying to beat the person in front of me and not let anyone pass me from behind,” added Herman. “Coach Haas really helped me with the hurdles. He’s made a huge difference in our track program. I feel like it is much better than it was.”
Blair does a remarkable job of mixing cheerleading, track, and tennis. And she does all of them at a very high level.
“It’s difficult sometimes to work all of them into my schedule,” said Blair. “My days are long from the time I get up. I go to school then straight to track practice. I leave there at 5:00 and go on to tennis. I’m usually there until 6:00 or 6:30. It’s all about managing your time and not getting overwhelmed.”
Blair somehow manages to work a part-time job at Food Country while Herman helps out at the family business.
Blair agreed that Coach Haas had been very helpful in making her better in the hurdle events.
“He really asserted, and he pushes up to do our best,” added Blair. “I got third in the 300 and 100 hurdles in my first meet. It was my first time running the 100 meters. “
Cam Haas is in his first season as the head track coach. He touched on each of his captains.
“Cayleigh is the type that wants to get the work done and do whatever it takes to get better. We’ve worked on her form, and she has definitely improved her times. She hates to mess up, and she always wants to get better. That’s what you want from your team captain.”
He added that Herman also possesses those same leadership qualities.
“Josh has definitely been a great leader, and I admire that. He’s always the first to motivate our team, and he encourages them to do it right and get it done. He has a great attitude about everything and people are drawn to him. They want to follow his example, and he does a great job of holding that responsibility. I couldn’t ask for two better captains as a coach.”
Blair and Herman are outstanding students, and each pretty much knows what they want to do upon graduation.
“I got invited to try out for the cheerleading squad at Tusculum,” added Blair. I take all honors classes right now, so I’m definitely ready. It that doesn’t work then I’ll attend ETSU and possibly get a cheer job traveling around the country. I’ve been doing it since junior high, and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Herman too wants to stay active in sports.
“I hope to become an athletic director either at the college or on some other level,” said Herman. “I want to stay involved in sports because I love to be around the game. I plan to attend ETSU. I’m excited about college and what it has to offer.”
Herman is the son of Joe and Lucia Herman while Blair’s parents are Roger and Stacey
Blair.
“My dad and mom have always been there for me,” said Herman. “My entire family supports me in whatever I do.”
Blair added. “Mom has been a big inspiration because she is always at my games. My parents are my role models.”
Just like Blair and Herman are too many other Longhorn athletes.