Dalton Hengst must be singing the recent Demi Lovato hit in his head during races as the McDonogh School sophomore distance runner has no problem showing off his confidence as he crosses the line after each win including his distance triple at the MIAA Championships. Hengst won the 1600 in 4:24, 800 in 1:58, and 3200 in 9:55 all comfortably and in control.
Are Hengst's celebrations considered to be too cocky and a sign of bad sportsmanship or is it just him showing emotion and a confident personality in a sport that sometimes lacks "characters" like other major sports to market and make the sport more entertaining?
Just on Saturday, Olympic medalist Matthew Centrowitz won a big indoor mile race in North Carolina with a little show-boating and celebration after he crossed the finish line. Doesn't Centrowitz make the sport more interesting and himself more marketable by showing that kind of flare in his victories similar to Cam Newton does when scores a touchdown in the NFL.
I think we know where most coaches and officials stand on this issue and vast majority would say that this should be grounds for a DQ or at least discouraged. Can completely understand that perspective in promoting good sportsmanship and values among these high school student athletes.
But my perspective weighing in on this topic is different from a purist view of the sport and more focused on what helps the sport grow and not stagnate or stay in the shadows of other mainstream sports. I honestly kinda like having an athlete like Dalton Hengst to cover in Maryland knowing or wondering what kind of celebration he's going to have coming across the finish line and an athlete not afraid to show who really is.
He makes the races and meets more interesting to cover. You are more interested to probably see what he does in a race than another runner who has similar times or abilities because of his personality as well.
What's your opinion? VOTE below!
Regardless of your opinion, watch his impressive 3-peat of winning all three distance races at Friday evening's MIAA Championships below!
1600m Race - 4:24.65
800m Race - 1:58.90
3200m Race - 9:55.28
More coverage from MIAA Championships: