Three months is a long time to be told you can’t do what you’re good at and what you enjoy.
That’s how long Longmont senior Landon Stetson was unable to take part in basketball or track after injuring his back working out. Stetson fractured his L5 disc lifting weights, which caused him to miss the Trojans boys basketball team’s playoff run in the winter.
But he’s back on the track for the spring season, and Stetson is returning to form. He took first at the season-opening RE-1J track meet, clearing six feet, 1 ½ inches to edge teammate Josh Cogdill, who finished seventh at last year’s state championships.
“It means a lot. Missing basketball and just being with the team and everything was kind of hard,” Stetson said at the RE-1J. “Now I’m just really glad to be out here and competing.”
Along with the high jump, Stetson competes in the 110-meter hurdles, 300 hurdles and will do some pole vaulting this season.
Before he fractured his back, Stetson was progressing in the weight room. He lost some valuable training time during the three-month resting period but he said he bounced back quickly after sitting out the appropriate time and feels like he’s getting back to where he needs to be.
“I went to the doctors, they took X-Rays and they said I’d be out for three months,” Stetson said. “They said it would probably never heal and the only way to fix it would be with surgery. But once the three months was up I started getting back, lifting and getting stronger and everything, just trying to get ready for the track season.”
Stetson turned in personal bests in the high jump (6-2) and 110 hurdles (16.83), and a season-best 46.06 in the 300 hurdles, at Saturday’s Nike Championship Series at Valor Christian High School, according to Milesplit.com. He placed third, second and fifth, respectively.
The son of Trojans volleyball coach Holli Stetson, Landon missed out on his chance to play small forward/shooting guard his senior year. But he appears to be making up for it on the track.
Brad Cochi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.