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Keeping Up with MHS Olympian Michael Hartfield

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Keeping Up with MHS Olympian Michael Hartfield

Mike Hartfield with MHS Track and Field coach Thayer Redman in Rio de Janeiro, August 2016

Mike Hartfield with MHS Track and Field coach Thayer Redman in Rio de Janeiro, August 2016

Photo: Thayer Redman

Mike Hartfield with MHS Track and Field coach Thayer Redman in Rio de Janeiro, August 2016

Photo: Thayer Redman

Photo: Thayer Redman

Mike Hartfield with MHS Track and Field coach Thayer Redman in Rio de Janeiro, August 2016

Manchester is a town that people are proud to be from. Whether they went on to be an accountant, a lawyer, an actor, a stay-at-home mom, or an Olympic athlete, they all have one thing in common: their love for Manchester.

Michael Hartfield, a 2008 Manchester High School graduate, competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. When at Manchester High, Michael was a standout athlete to say the least. He dominated the field in long jump, which ignited his goals to continue his journey in track. Michael went on to Ohio State University, where he competed in long jump. At Ohio State, he broke Jesse Owens’ 77-year-old outdoor long jump record with a mark of 8.15 meters.  

Although Michael has progressed far in his career, his beginning was here at Manchester High School. Michael has shown his love for Manchester and for MHS by coming to a couple of track practices and meeting up with his former track coach, Coach Redman.

“Being a student at Manchester High School has played a significant role in the process of me becoming who I am as a man and as an athlete. I think of MHS as being a small-scale representation of the rest of the world… I was fortunate to come from such a place which prepared me for all the different types of people I would meet traveling and competing around the world,” explained Hartfield. 

While Michael was in high school, Redman had no way of knowing the lasting impact he would leave on Hartfield. Mr. Redman was the only individual who went to Rio with Michael (but was definitely not his only supporter). “Having Coach Redman there in Rio supporting me meant more to me than he’ll ever know… I have a lot of love for Coach Redman because he always wanted better for me, even when I didn’t necessarily have my own best interests at heart…It was only right that he be there in Rio de Janeiro to see a story unfold that he played such a big role in.”

Redman has continued to support Michael. Just last weekend Michael received an award from his alma mater, Ohio State, and Redman was sure to be there with him in Columbus.

Michael is an inspiration to those around him. His biggest advice is to believe in yourself: “The Olympics taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I know this may sound cliché, but it is a real thing and I can’t stress that enough! My faith in myself and my abilities carried me to places I would have never thought imaginable…Once I made the mental switch and knew without a doubt that I could be an Olympian, the rest took care of itself right before my eyes. Where I made my mistake was not truly believing that the gold medal was for me. I wanted it, of course, but I hadn’t had complete faith that I was going to go home with it.”

The next chapter in Hartfield’s life includes his move to Portland, Oregon. He has decided to “pursue the things that are most important to me right now: the gold medal which awaits me in 2020, my quest to learn more about the world around me, and sharing my life with my girlfriend/best friend who lives in Portland as well.” Like he said, he is still training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in which he is going for the gold!

Michael has represented and will continue to represent Manchester in a positive way. But this is just the beginning.

“My story isn’t finished yet, so I’m excited to see what this next chapter holds,” he said. “ This story is just getting good!”

 

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Julia Pardi, Editor-in-Chief

Julia Pardi is a senior at Manchester High School. She has been in the Harbinger class since her sophomore year and will proudly be taking on the position...

1 Comment

One Response to “Keeping Up with MHS Olympian Michael Hartfield”

  1. Christine Quintiliani on January 11th, 2017 8:44 am

    Congratulations Michael! So proud of you. Your story, indeed, is NOT over. Looking forward to your future. Best wishes.

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