Blake Shepherd is enrolled in five AP classes (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“Every time you step on the track, you’re trying to push your body to a level that never been pushed before,” said Blake Shepherd, a junior sprinter from Cathedral high school. “You don’t really get that same thing with football or basketball.”

Running track helped Shepherd get comfortable with giving any task his all, especially in his academics. He is currently enrolled in five Advanced Placement (AP) classes, including AP U.S. History and AP Calculus. Shepherd currently has a 4.86 GPA.

“I want to become an Aerospace engineer,” Shephard said. “Any type of engineering is super heavy with math.”

As a freshmen, Shepherd applied to become a member of the National Honor Society, the Math Club, and the California Scholarship Federation at his school. He currently is Vice President of the National Honor Society and is in his second year of being on the council of the other two groups.

During his sophomore year on the track team, Shepherd had a 10.89-second time in the 100m. For the 200m, he ran a 21.89-second time and in the 400m, Shepherd had a 50.10-second time. An injury put Shepherd on the sideline during his sophomore year.

Shepherd mentioned how track is a technical sport, a sprinter has to decide how they want their form to be and how they want to race. His knowledge of math aides him in the sport.

“The track coach that trains me, he’s super analytical about things,” Shepherd said. “It’s a lot more than ‘go out and run.’ I think that analytical part of it kinda connected with my math side.”

Shepherd also volunteers for School on Wheels, an after school tutoring program that helps homeless children.

“It’s just a blessing, really. It’s great to see all these kids that are so dedicated,” Shepherd said. “Whether they know it or not, they kind of understand that to get out of that circle of poverty, they need a good education.”

Being a leader and maintaining straight A’s in AP classes requires “a lot of sacrifice” for Shepherd.

“During the week, I don’t really go out places very much or play many video games,” He said. “I devote most of my time [to] high school studying and stuff like that. It works just like a balancing act.”

Track came into Shepherd’s life at the sixth grade and qualified for the California State Games.

Advice that Shepherd gives to young athletes is to set a goal and to keep said goal in mind no matter what they do.

“At the end of the season, you want to be able to say ‘I accomplished that goal,’” Shepherd said. “Hiccups are here and there, hurdles are here and there, but everyone has those.”

Do you know an athlete that assists the community and scores high in the classroom? Email [email protected] to nominate your student-athlete.