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Athlete Spotlight: Hayes Trapp

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Augusta Preparatory Day School is on the fast track to hosting a genuine track star.  

Hayes Trapp is a junior whose promising stats have singled him out in cross country running and track and field. His 15 minute 46 second for the 5000-meter is a school record. His 800-meter track time is 2:09.14. He’s won the team and individual state championship, at 9:49.81, missing breaking the school record by only 0.01 for the 3200-meter. 

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“It’s still fairly early in the season,” said Trapp. “So I know I’ve got a lot left in me.” 

The 2020 USA Today Augusta-Area Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year moved with his family from their hometown of Bernardsville, N.J. right before his fifth grade year. He’s been a student at Augusta Prep since sixth grade and has been playing sports most of his life. His athletic range and experience also include soccer, football and basketball. 

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While Trapp enjoys all of them, his strongest passion is in running; and even between track and cross country his preference leans toward the latter. 

“I’ve come to really appreciate the process,” said Trapp about the cross country season. “You start in the summer, you’re doing your long base mileage up in the morning before the sun’s out, you’re here at practice with the team.” 

Trapp is driven by a competitiveness that he remembers long before he started running for sport in seventh grade, racing with his friends just to see how far and fast he could go. 

Hayes Trapp is a sophomore at Augusta Preparatory Day School. Photo courtesy Chris Gay

“I love racing fast, getting times,” Trapp said. “I love it partially because I love being with my teammates; but I love doing it on my own. With each passing season my passion for the sport has grown.” 

Head cross country coach Amber Palermo noticed Trapp’s ability early on when he would come to races, win and go back to playing football. She initially thought Trapp wasn’t interested in cross country. Once he quit football, he returned to cross country and started training. Palermo noted that Trapp’s fervor and commitment to the sport kept growing.  

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“I saw his love for running also develop,” said Palermo. “Not just his talent, but he started getting really into the statistics, knowing why we do these workouts, what these different times mean.” 

Palermo notes Trapp’s dedication is evident not only in his impressive numbers but also in his keen interest in improving, educating himself and not letting it all go to his head. 

“He’s humble,” said Palermo. “He’s proud of his times, but he knows where he needs to be compared to other people in the state. He’s very involved in the process of his training.” 

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Trapp still a high schooler, and so alongside breaking track and cross country records and tending to schoolwork, he can be found playing videogames or pickup basketball with his friends, relaxing with his family or nursing a burgeoning interest in fishing. But at the end of the day, the thrill of the run always calls for him. 

 “I just love everything about it,” he said. “So much that fascinates me, so much that makes me want to keep going, keep improving, that draws me back to it.” 

Skyler Q. Andrews is a staff reporter covering Columbia County with The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected].


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