Apr. 10—CONNEAUT — Tellus Andrews went out for track as a freshman to improve as a football player, but instead of working on his quickness in sprinting events, he competed in distance events and the high jump because of Conneaut's depth in sprinting events.
The Spartans featured a variety of impressive sprinters at the time, including Matt McBride and Josh Leggett. Andrews wanted to letter and contribute to the team so Spartans coach Denny Distelrath placed him in events where the Spartans needed athletes.
Andrews came up a few points short of a letter as a freshman, regularly trailed in distance events and didn't clear the starting height for high jump.
Though the events weren't his forte, he embraced his role as a young athlete on a team desperately in need of people for non-sprinting events.
"Being able to go out there and compete with everyone is one of my favorite things to do," Andrews said. "Also, just being surrounded by the team. Everybody there is always eager to get better, and we always have a good time at practice."
With that being said, he still yearned for a spot on the team as a sprinter.
He returned a year later stronger and faster, earning a spot on the 4X100 relay and competing at the district meet in the 100-meter dash.
Andrews ran a personal best 11.82 in the 100, finishing 14th.
He points to the upperclassmen sprinters as a motivating factor for him his sophomore season.
"Everyone that was on our team would go to extra practices and workout with the team all the time," Andrews said. "Even whenever we didn't have to be at practice, they were always there so anytime I got the chance I wanted to try to compete with those guys and be on the same level as them."
After missing last season, a good portion of Conneaut's sprinting talent graduated, but Andrews has emerged as a good candidate to fill the gap.
He ran 11.44, a new PR, as Conneaut hosted Pymatuning Valley in a dual meet on Thursday.
Andrews also stepped into a leadership role. His lead by example style, hard work and personality caused his teammates to gravitate toward him.
Distelrath expects Andrews to make it to regionals, but admits he has an even higher ceiling with a few tweaks to his starts. Andrews recognizes this and wants to acquire a more consistent, efficient start he bring the starting blocks home with him on the weekend.
"When you come out of those blocks in the 100 or the 200, really when you hit about 20-25 meters before you're in your full stride," Distelrath said. "Sometimes he gets to that a little early and it's hard to hold. The longer you do it the harder it is to hold. He's good at it, but he can be better."
Andrews believes his growth, both physically and mentally, has helped his development as an athlete and person.
"Going from a freshman, I was just this short, little, chubby kid ... seeing improvement really helped me mentally," Andrews said. "It really gave me more confidence in everything with my life."