Senior Swan Song: Darias Harms

Name: Darias Harms 

School: Simla High 

Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

My most memorable race would be the 100 meter state championship race, 2019. I had been to state the last two years and placed second. I finally won and set the new 1A state meet record. I had been working towards this race for a long time. I raced against great competition this year and some of them were my friends on the line that day. Watch That Race: The 1A 100 Final

Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

I would consider Cameron Klan and Bowman Ellis my biggest competition. I raced against both of them my freshman year, they were seniors.

I ran against Cameron early in the season at a meet in Elbert and I beat him. Then I ran against him at the 1A championships in Limon where he beat me. I was looking forward to seeing him at state, but he tore his ACL and couldn't compete. He was a strong opponent and it was sad that he couldn't be there because of injury. 

I also ran against Bowman at the 1A championships and he beat me. That put a strong desire in me to be ready for the state meet. Bowman and I had a photo finish race at the state meet, 2017, he beat me by .003 seconds. That gave me a great first year as a high school athlete with great competition and made me work even harder over the next years to be ready for state competition.

Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment would be going to state every year of high school. I was able to compete in my favorite event, the 100 meter, every year bringing home 2 runner ups and one championship and a state meet record. I got to compete in the  200, 4x100 relay, and 4x200 relay over the years. We earned 2 state titles in the 4x100, my freshman and junior year. My Simla boys team earned the second place trophy my junior year with only six boys competing.

Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?

I wouldn't change anything. Every loss, win, setback, accomplishment, injury, failure, friend, race, coach, smile, tear, and more made me who I am. I have a future to run in college and I am looking forward to the new journey God is taking me on.

Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I have a couple that come to mind. The first was when I was in eighth grade, I developed a Pneumomediastinum, which is air trapped between the chest wall and heart. This was scary because it could be life threatening and it was rare. I had to completely stop all competition and exercise immediately. 

But once it was healed they said your good, now go back to what you were doing before. It left as quickly as it came, but I was still scared. For the longest time I would still get nervous when I had to run my 200, because that was when I noticed the symptoms the first time.

The second obstacle was this year. The first football game of my senior season I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus. I had to have surgery and go through therapy. I knew from the moment it happened that I was going to do whatever it took and put in the work to return to competing as quickly as possible.

I had an amazing surgeon and physical therapist that worked with me over the next several months. I spent hours at therapy and doing extra workouts on my own. I made it back to play three basketball games this season and was looking forward to track.

Many people said it wasn't possible, were scared, or asked why risk it when track is your favorite. I knew I would never be happy with myself if I didn't try. I put in the work and trusted God with the rest. If I had to deal with re-injuring myself that risk was worth it to me to know that I at least tried. I can look back now and say I have no regrets, because at least I got to play three games of basketball and a little more than a quarter of football this year.

This journey was difficult but I am grateful for every step because I learned a lot about myself and grew closer to God. I never let others influence what I wanted and stayed true to myself.

I can honestly say that the pneumomediastinum was scarier than the knee injury ever was because at least with the knee I knew I would be alive even if I was re-injured.

I learned to listen to God, the people who truly cared for and knew me, and myself through all of this. You have to do what is right for you and let others do what is right for them even when you don't agree or understand. Whether it turns out the way I want or not, I am glad God is in control and not me.

Q) What will you miss the most?

I will miss Joel Carpenter the most. He was a senior last year, so I was going to miss him this year anyway. He was my buddy. We have been running the last two legs of relays since junior high. We competed in many of the same events. We always pushed each other and had fun during track season.

Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?

Be You! Don't try to please others and make them happy. You will never be able to please or make everyone understand what pushes you.

There will always be those that want to tell you what you should do, what you can't do, they will judge and criticize; but you will only be able to do your best and reach your goals when you trust in God and listen to your heart.

Lean in to the people that believe in you and encourage you to be yourself. Your way isn't always for everyone and that is okay, because their way isn't always for you.

"To all my doubters, thank you very much because you guys have also pushed me." -Usain Bolt

Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

I am grateful to my head coach, Jeni Montague, for all the years she invested in me and the love she gave me. She was like a second mom.

But, I have to give credit to my dad for being the assistant coach on the field and my personal head coach and trainer. My dad has been working with me since I was a boy, whether it was football, baseball, basketball, or track. As I got older and more focused on track he would spend hours training me and putting in extra workouts. He works the graveyard shift at a prison and would sleep around my schedule still being at every meet and practice. This meant that sometimes he was awake for 30+ hours and he still showed up and still went to work.

He would take me to the pool after regular practice where we would work on different speed conditioning. When I needed a coach he was my coach and when I needed a dad he was my dad. He never tried to make me what he wanted, but he always helped me to be my best. He set the example of what it meant to be a man who put in the hard work and trusted God with the results. Thanks dad for teaching me to be a man.

Q) What are your college plans?

I will be attending Chadron State College on scholarship to run track and will be majoring in Rangeland Management. I want to be a rancher and farmer and have a family in my future. God has called me to take care of the land and give back to the communities around me. He has given me the opportunity to further my knowledge of these things while getting to run track.

Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

I want to say thank you to God for loving me always through all the good and bad. Without your strength I would not have made it through all the obstacles and rough days so that I could enjoy all the good ones you have given me. All the glory to God!

Thank you to my parents for always believing in me and teaching me to be a strong man of faith and character. And for all the hours spent providing me with everything I needed to be my best. Thank you to my older sister for always being there for me, listening, and giving me advice. Thank you to my younger sister for always cheering me on and being proud of me no matter what.

Q) Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you for doing this!

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