By Sheri Duff
Clarke Shedd is a committed athlete. Eager to discuss Shedd’s attributes, Champlain Valley Union (CVU) Head Track & Field Coach Eli Enman began, “Clarke is one of the hardest working athletes on the team. He is committed to improving through hard work and practice. Often at the beginning of practice, while other kids are changing, or hanging out and talking, Clarke is the one that is shoveling the long jump pit for practice. He often does the distance workout first, and then comes over to work hard at the jumping pit.
Usually he’s one of the last one’s there.” Enman couldn’t stop there: “Clarke is a fantastic teammate,” he complimented. “I always see him helping out others taking their steps and letting people know if they’ve fouled on a jump. An excellent leader on the team, I look forward to seeing how well he does this season.”
Shedd has lived in Shelburne his entire life. His family includes parents Cindy and Jeff; a halfbrother named Chris, age 29; and a miniature poodle named Cookie.
Planning to try out for baseball his sophomore year, he made a fortuitous decision instead. “Even though I didn’t know much about track & field, I wanted out of those early morning practices baseball required, so I tried out for the team,” Shedd explained. “I really enjoy track & field because there are so many different events to choose from and to watch at meets. You can run a quarter of the track or you can run up to 7-1/2 laps. It’s up to the individual.”
Shedd’s favorite track event is the long jump, and that is where he obviously excels. “I enjoy reaching top speed and throwing myself into the air as weird as that sounds,” he informed. “Plus the long jump is the first event of every track meet and is a fun way to get started every time.”
In addition to track & field, his preferred sport, Shedd is a four-year cross country runner. On the varsity team but unable to compete his senior year, Shedd is enthusiastic about his return to form, saying, “I had an injury that required surgery. I probably could have competed in indoor track over the winter but I decided to wait. It’s great to be able to run and jump again without pain.”
Not surprisingly, Shedd is not all about running and jumping. He is also musically inclined. “I play drums and guitar for fun. Plus, I am a huge music fan and will take any opportunity to see a good show,” Shedd noted. So much so, it’s his greatest achievement. “I have attended 80 concerts since 2009. My first show ever was “The Urgency” featuring two Shelburne Community School teachers’ sons,” he said. “I have attended concerts such as Bruno Mars, Dropkick Murphys, KISS, Motley Crue, Poison, The Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid, LMFAO, Boston, 311, Earth Wind and Fire, Foreigner, 3 Doors Down, and ZZ Top, to name a few. I’m proud of it because not too many people my age, or adults for that matter, have been able to see as many shows as I have.”
Already prepared for next year, Shedd will attend the University of North Florida to pursue his interest in athletic training. “I am ready for warmer weather and my mom lives nearby,” he said by way of an explanation. Fortunately, there’s no need for an explanation, Shedd is already on the fast track to success.