http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/ ... 79d303.txt
Boone Grove's Dawson reaching new heights in PV
BY JOHN O'MALLEY
219.548.4355 | Thursday, April 10, 2008 | No comments posted.
Brian Dawson is a firm believer in planning ahead.
The Boone Grove senior plans on visiting Indiana State University this weekend.
Dawson, who narrowly missed qualifying for state in the pole vault last year, would like to attend ISU this fall and vault for the track team.
During an indoor meet at Hanover Central earlier this spring, Dawson set a school record, clearing the bar at 13-7.
If he ends up competing for the Sycamores and scores in a conference meet, he'll be able to earn at least a partial scholarship.
Dawson wants to major in English. His goal is to become a teacher and coach.
"I'm trying to have everything planned, so I won't have a screwed-up future,'' Dawson said. "But life throws you curveballs sometimes.''
Life threw the Dawson family a big-time curveball about four years ago when Brian was in eighth grade.
An illness in the family made the youngest of four Dawson kids realize he needed to grow up quickly.
"My dad (Mike) had a stroke, but fortunately, he's OK now,'' Dawson said. "We're lucky everything came back to him even though it forced him into disability retirement. You grow up thinking your dad is invincible. When he had the stroke, he was frustrated because he couldn't talk to us at first. I saw him cry for the first time since his dad died.
"I was trying to be strong around him, but it was tough seeing that. I think his stroke made me grow up a lot faster. When you come close to losing one of your parents, it makes you realize they won't be there forever.''
While Dawson's father recovered, the whole ordeal put a big strain on his mother, Maureen.
"It was really rough on her, it was rough on all of us,'' Dawson said. "It was a big wakeup call for me.''
Dawson has grown up on the track quickly, too.
His trio of events -- pole vault, shot put, discus and 400 -- isn't exactly common.
Boone Grove coach Reggie Flesvig said he doesn't even remember an athlete vaulting and throwing for him.
"It's a fairly odd combination,'' he said. "Usually, pole-vaulters just vault. You don't see too many 400 runners vaulting.
"We don't have a lot of depth, so I rely on Brian to do some events I wouldn't normally ask him to do. He's willing to do them. He's a team player.''
Dawson is definitely a team player.
He confessed he absolutely did not like the 400 when Flesvig started running him in it for workouts.
"I was mad every time he did it,'' Dawson said. "I hated it every time. To me, it was the closest thing to a wrestling match as you can get. By the time you're done, it makes you feel like you're going to puke.''
But Dawson has gone 58 seconds indoors and has the potential to lower his time considerably.
"It's getting better for me, but it's still hard on me,'' he said.
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