Octavious Freeman – Senior @ Lake Wales
Octavious Freeman is one of the greatest high school sprinters of all-time. She has only lost once at 100 meters in Florida duing her four year high school career, two years ago at the Florida Relays. In her senior year, at the same event she would have none of that, blazing past the field in a season best of 11.28. Her dad Stanley Smith, who is also her coach, says he was pleased with her performance.
“I think she did a great job. We’ve been working on her start the last couple of weeks and we changed from the rocket start to the conventional start, one foot back and one foot forward, so she’d be faster out of the blocks.”
He says while he is satisfied with the way his daughter is running, she won’t be pleased until she meets her goal of the national 100 meter record, 11.11 set by Angela Williams of California in 1998. Freeman ran that time in 2010 but it was wind aided. He admits the pressure isn’t on his daughter to win; it’s the pressure he puts on her.
“I think I put more pressure on her than her opponents because I am constantly telling her what she needs to do to break the record. I’m really the person who gets on her the most. Besides this week, the rest of the meets she’s not been focused, taking pictures, etc. This week we kept her isolated from people and she ran an 11.2.”
Smith thinks his daughter could have broken the record this weekend had she finished the race. He says after she passes her competition and has a comfortable lead she cruises through the line rather than closing strong.
“The only thing she really needs to do to break the record is she needs to break through the tape. She needs to learn how to run when she is in front of everyone. That might be why she is so down on herself because she knows she is not doing the things she should be doing."
One problem Freeman might face in her mission of 11.11 is that the local meets she will compete in the next few weeks don’t have wind gauges, so even if she broke the record it wouldn’t be official. Her next chance will be at the 2A state championships, April 30th, at Showalter Field.
A typical workout for the Lake Wales senior consists of mostly downhill runs. Smith says they don't do more than four things on a given day and the focus is on drills to get the technical aspects down to an art.
“Her best asset is her turnover it’s something she just has naturally. She has natural strength we haven’t really lifted weights like we have in the past. Drills are what make Octavious fast. We don’t do a whole lot of running, we work on technical stuff.”
Freeman has tossed the idea of going pro around, but her dad believes there is a 95 percent chance she will stick to her commitment to the University of Central Florida. He says she has the physical tools; however, it’s the mental aspect that might be holding her back.
“I think she needs to go to school. She is used to her mom and me basically doing everything for her. She needs some tutelage before she goes pro. I don’t think she is ready for that now mentally. I think she can go under 11 with the right competition.”
100 Meter Dash 11.11w (11.16 legal)
200 Meter Dash 23.19w (23.20 legal)
300 Meter Dash 40.34
400 Meter Dash 1:03.78
55 Meter Dash 6.92
60 Meter Dash 7.50
Long Jump 18-4.5
Video Interview from Florida Relays
More on Octavious (Athlete Profile)