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Leazer having a sensational year
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Ryan Leazer wanted to get faster and stronger for football so he joined the Ceres High track and field team. The junior has developed into one of the top sprinters in the Central California Conference.

"I had no clue what I was doing at first," Leazer said.

"As the season went on, I started thinking, 'I really have a shot in this sport.' I just wish I would have started freshman and sophomore year."

Leazer finished second in the 200, fifth in the 100 and was a member of the 4x100 relay team, which placed third, at the Central California Conference championships on Wednesday.

Leazer has excelled in the sport for several reasons:

He has a knowledgeable coaching staff and he also works very hard.

"Mike Jones is really good coach," Leazer said. "He changed my whole style of running."

Added Jones: "He ran like a football guy. His arms were going across his body. He was really tight. He was trying to hard. He's a lot more relaxed and a lot smoother when he runs now."

Leazer practices on his own time at Modesto JC.

"Other coaches would like to have him because of his work ethic," Jones said.

"He earned everything he got this year."

Leazer's specialty is the 200.

"I see him breaking 23 seconds next year," Jones said. "He's just going to get stronger. He's still growing."

He is also the leader of the 4x100 relay team. Leazer runs the first leg.

"Ryan sets the tone for that race," Jones said. "If he gets out, then we have a good chance."

Leazer also keeps his teammates relaxed.

"His attitude and enthusiasm rub off on other athletes," Brown said.

Leazer could turn a lot of heads in track next season.

"The experience is huge," Jones said. "Now he knows what to expect in those races and from some of the competition."

Added Brown: "He'll be even better next year."

Leazer's plans for the summer, include less partying and more training. He'll continue to drink protein shakes and eat more fruits.

"I'm having the time of my life out here," Leazer said. "Everybody's friendly. There's a lot of good sportsmanship. I'm looking forward to playing next year." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier