Reed Sauter’s athletic career at Center Grove High School has revolved around two sports.
Trojans boys track and field coach Eric Moore is confident it could have been more.
Sauter, who plays soccer in the fall, is running middle-distance events in the spring. An interesting combination, to be sure, but the senior makes it work.
“For a distance runner, and normally those kids are locked into one routine, Reed’s a really excellent athlete. He can play soccer. He can play basketball. He’s a good sprinter. It just blows my mind because he could play 10 sports,” Moore said with a laugh.
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“Reed’s had the injury bug a little bit through high school, and it caused him not to be involved in the sprinting aspect of (track) more.”
A midfielder for Center Grove’s Class 2A boys soccer state championship team last fall, Sauter attacks life two laps at a time for the Trojans’ track team.
Sauter is competing in the 800-meter run at the Columbus North Sectional on Thursday. He will be the second leg of the 4×800 relay for the seventh-ranked Trojans. The other runners on the relay are Noah Rhoten, Zane Libke and anchor Nathan Fill.
Accomplished in soccer and track, Sauter has an equal passion for both sports.
“Honestly, I don’t know which one is my better sport. I just enjoy doing both of them so much that I’ve done it since I was a little kid,” said Sauter, who plans to continue his soccer and track careers at Franklin College.
“I like doing them both because I don’t have all the pressure of one sport.”
Sauter produced seven goals and six assists during the soccer season, despite missing five matches with a concussion.
More recently, he helped the Trojans’ 4×800 relay win the Johnson County Meet championship in a time of 8:11.03.
In terms of training, soccer and track are similar in some respects and different in others.
Soccer is a series of stops and starts, both offensively and defensively. In track, all running events are continuous.
“With soccer, it’s tough because once we move on to track my strides are so short that it takes a long time to think about just using the length of my body. When I go back to soccer I literally feel like Superman,” Sauter said.
“I can just sprint because of the (track) training I’ve done.”
Sauter competed in track his freshman and sophomore seasons. He elected to sit out the 2015 season after sensing he wasn’t progressing at the rate he had hoped.
“My freshman year I was doing pretty strong. My sophomore year I took a step back. I had lost a lot of confidence,” Sauter said. “I did kind of miss (track), though I didn’t want to come back and be subpar.
“I wanted to come back and be better than I was my freshman year.”
Besides missing part of his final high school soccer season due to injury, Sauter had bronchitis his sophomore year of track and was slowed somewhat earlier this season with a hip flexor.
Now healthy, Sauter looks to make his final weeks of track his most memorable.
Moore will need him if the Trojans are to place in the top four in the team standings at the June 4 IHSAA State Finals for a fifth time in six seasons.
“The 4×800 (relay) was made for him. The 800 meters was made for him. That’s what’s so great about Reed, having a No. 2 or 3 runner who can go in there and get Nate (Fill) some space or get us back in the race if we’re behind,” Moore said.
“(Assistant) Coach (Howard) Harrell uses him in the 4×800 sort of the way we used (former state champion) Austin Mudd in the 4×400 (in 2011). Maintain what we have or gain a little bit. Reed never, ever loses ground in either race he runs.”
THE SAUTER FILE
Name: Reed Sauter
Born: St. Louis, Missouri
Family: Parents, Rick Sauter and Janet Papproth; brother, Drew, 16
Favorite TV show: “Anything on CNN”
Favorite food: Hamburgers
Favorite movie: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
Favorite athlete: Jamie Vardy
Favorite team: St. Louis Cardinals