RUMFORD — Some track athletes are natural. Others have a high ceiling with the right combination of coaching, commitment and confidence-building.

Kyle Farrar is all that wrapped into one.

The Mountain Valley High School sophomore was responsible for 32 of the Falcons’ 46 team points at the MVC championships, winning the 100-meter dash and long jump while finishing third in the 200 and the 4×100 relay.

“I’m a little disappointed,” Farrar said. “I wanted first, but you can’t win them all.”

And Farrar wasn’t even entered in triple jump, where his season-best performance of more than 39 feet would have made him the No. 2 seed.

It gives him the opportunity to be Mountain Valley’s most prolific performer in years at the state meet. Farrar will compete in the Class C showcase Saturday at Yarmouth.


“You could put him in any sport and he’d be pretty good,” Mountain Valley coach J.T. Taylor said. “He’s an athletic kid. It’s just a matter of getting more focused and really working on the biomechanics of running and being stronger at the finish of a race.”

Farrar, a star running back in football and an emerging guard on the Falcons’ basketball team, has sought out the counsel to excel in those areas on his own.

Following the advice of a friend who competed for Class A Lawrence, he used ladders to improve his footwork. After a false start and disqualification from the MVC 100 meters as a freshman, Farrar committed himself to extra time in the block, working with assistant coach Bryan Blackman on his starting technique.

“It could have gone a couple of ways, either to the point where he didn’t want to do it, or made him work harder,” Taylor said of the 2014 disqualification. “When he won on Thursday, he beat the kid at the end because he just had a little more.”

Throughout the summer, Farrar trained daily with his brother, former Mountain Valley football and track star Devin Roberts.

“I knew from last year being one of the only freshmen at states that this year I had a really good chance to do something,” Farrar said. “I think it just comes with age. As you grow, your body develops and gets stronger and better. If you’re really working on yourself, you’re just going to get stronger and better than everyone else.”


Farrar is a notorious closer in the sprints, sometimes to his coaches’ chagrin.

At MVCs, he ran down Jordan Curtis of Madison to win the 100 by a one-hundredth of a second at 11.90. Farrar’s best time in the event was an eyelash underneath 11.6.

The 200 was a different story. Farrar’s finishing kick wasn’t quite enough to catch Curtis or Telstar’s Maverik Griffin.

“I think it taught him a lesson,” Taylor said. “He doesn’t go out fast enough. He’s too conservative. Him at 80 percent, by the end, nobody’s going to get him the last 10 meters. He should be going out faster so guys have to catch him.”

Farrar also is fast and strong enough to be a contender in the 300-meter hurdles, although the punishing event isn’t his first choice.

“You’ve got to be tough in the 200. Last year he and another guy didn’t want to run it, so I put them in the 300 hurdles,” Taylor recalled. “After that he said, ‘OK, I’ll do 200.’ He just has to get a little more confident.”


Farrar was the only MVC long jumper to crest 20 feet, denying Drew Gamage of Oak Hill a third gold medal in the meet.

That discipline, also, is one that finally clicked this spring.

“Speed turns to velocity, and then it takes technique when you’re jumping,” Farrar, who predicted that long jump is his best chance to win a state title, said.

Propelling himself through the air was the biggest adaptation for someone whose inclination in track was to go north and south without shifting gears.

“The long jump was something he had to work on, because he couldn’t transfer his horizontal speed to vertical,” Taylor said. “He’s a great jumper, but his plant wasn’t strong enough. He couldn’t get up in the air. After the first week he kind of figured it out and has just been carrying it through. He’s still got some work to do on his finish in the sand. I think he could go 21 with a good finish.”

Farrar’s goal Saturday is to score points in all his events, whichever four Taylor ultimately chooses for him.


Another goal is to lead a Mountain Valley revival on the gridiron and the hardwood.

“The cool thing about track is I can work on basketball and football, and it also helps me with track,” Farrar said.

“He has kind of the God-given talent. Last year he got humbled, because in middle school he dominated,” Taylor added. “He spent a lot of time in the weight room over the winter for football and track. He’s gotten a little stronger, and that’s been a big thing for him.”

Because when a natural athlete pays attention to detail and harnesses his willpower, good luck to the opposition.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.