JUNE 7, 2014 - COLUMBUS
After all he has been through, it was a fitting image - Lane White standing at the finish line looking at the scoreboard through his cool shades as his ripped leg and arm muscles quivered from 48.24 seconds of intense running.
It was a culmination of years of hard work, frustration and heartbreak, but Lane White finally had his day in the sun as he won the 400 Meter State Championship he has coveted since an injury forced him out of competition a year ago.
"It felt great when I crossed the finish line," White said. "With about 50 meters to go, I thought I had it. But again, anything can happen."
White knows by first hand experience because "anything" did happen to him last season.
He was in the middle of his junior season and peaking at the right time. His times were dropping with each race and he had his sights set on a state championship.
Unfortunately, in a home track meet of all places, White was running the final leg of a relay and pulled up coming around the turn. He fell to the track and knew he was in trouble.
He had severely strained his hamstring - forcing him to forgo his junior season until returning to anchor the 4x400 meter relay team to a third place finish at state.
Already self driven, White's misfortune put him into overdrive - as he trained harder than ever before at Enhance U.
With this training, White returned bigger and stronger to the track in the off-season as he won an indoor state championship in the 400 and then kept breaking his own school record on a consistent basis throughout the season.
All of the hard work - treating his body like a finely tuned sports car by what he took in and how he hard he drove it - paid huge dividends as he entered the state meet completely healthy and stronger than ever.
Still, even though White was leaving the rest of the competition in his wake coming down the final stretch of the 400 meter finals, there was always that fear of "anything can happen".
"I wasn't taking any chances," White explained of his strategy. "You never know what could happen. Someone could run a crazy PR. You just don't know."
As White crossed the finish line, everyone knew - he was a state champion.
Which made all of his frustration and misfortune worth it.
"It probably is a blessing in disguise," White said of the adversity he faced. "That's the word I would use. When I was a freshman, I never even thought about winning a state championship. It was probably my junior year when I went through the injury that I started thinking about it."