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‘Fast is definitely my pace’: Can Sheridan’s Addie Pendergast break her own 400-meter state record?

Addie Pendergast Sheridan HS
Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-25 08:28:23-04

SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Sheridan, Wyoming's, basketball girls are just a couple weeks removed from celebrating a State 4A basketball title. Addie Pendergast was the starting point guard on a team that loved to run.

“Yeah, fast-paced is definitely my pace,” Pendergast told MTN Sports.

That’s an understatement which will be noticed as her attention now pivots to the sport she most loves — racing track and field where Pendergast performs flybys like Maverick in a Top Gun movie.

It’s easy to see why she’s Wyoming’s reigning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, sweeping titles in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes last season. Her favorite – and most dominant event – is the grueling 400-meter sprint where she set Wyoming’s state record in 54.25 seconds. By comparison, that beats Montana’s record of 54.62 which was etched over 20 years ago in 2003 by Conrad’s Loni Perkins, according to Montana High School Association records.

Pendergast remembers her first taste of the 400.

“I ran it one time in sixth grade, not a very good time," she recalled. "Then (in) seventh grade, I put a little focus (into it) and realized you were actually supposed to sprint it.”

And she hasn’t lost a 400-meter race since, including one notable out-of-state race.

“I competed one time at the Simplot Games in Idaho on the indoor (track) … I did win that one as well,” she said with a sheepish smile.

They say you can’t coach speed. So, how does Taylor Kelting coach her in his ninth year of leading the Broncs?

“A lot of it is just working on her mechanically and trying to make sure she’s as efficient as possible," Kelting said. "And keep her fresh, because fresh is fast.”

A perfect student in the classroom, Pendergast enjoyed official visits to Michigan, Duke, Penn, Harvard and Stanford, where she ultimately signed with the Cardinal. Her career goal post-college is to become a diplomat and work in politics with an environmental science background.

She’s also an accomplished trumpet player who loves homemade meals.

“My mom is a fantastic cook so I get breakfast, lunch and dinner made by her," Pendergast said with another smile. "I am not picky at all. But, before a race my go-to would probably be Gatorade Energy Chews … (and) definitely a banana.”

Right now, all she’s craving the need for speed entering her senior year.

"You look at her, (and) she's such a sweetheart," Kelting said. "But when she steps on that track, you can see those eyes and there's just fire in the eyes."