By Brad Fauber
STRASBURG -- Cody Darr could probably compete in just about every running and jumping event for Strasburg's boys track and field team. He doesn't, of course, but the junior has dabbled in his fair share of events this season.
Darr has, at one time or another this season, competed in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash, the long jump, and the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Darr is focusing just on the latter four events in this year's postseason meets, but that flexibility is always a gift for the Rams.
"He is very versatile," Strasburg jumps/sprints coach Emily Brandon said on Tuesday. "I could really put him in anything if we need him to score, like for the [Shenandoah] County meet and the [Bull Run] District meet, we needed points. He can go in any sprint that I need him to. And in the relays he always comes through."
Darr, The Northern Virginia Daily's Male Athlete of the Week for May 11-17, delivered in a big way for the Rams last week during the Bull Run District championship meet, which was hosted by Strasburg on May 14.
The junior began his day in the long jump, where he placed fourth with a leap of 18 feet, 10 ¼ inches. From there Darr moved on to the 4x100 relay, where he ran the opening leg and helped the Rams to a winning time of 45.43 seconds.
Then it was off to the 400-meter dash, which is arguably Darr's best event, although he'll admit it's his least favorite. Darr again put himself atop the leader board with a winning time of 51.87 seconds, just off the school record of 51.74 seconds that he has been gunning for all season long.
Darr wrapped up his day by running the anchor leg of Strasburg's 4x400 relay team, and held off a late push from Central's Justin Bauserman to help the Rams win second place in the event with a time of 3:40.11.
Darr accumulated a total of 18.50 points in the district meet -- good for fourth-best among all individual participants -- and his performance was critical in helping Strasburg's boys win their first Bull Run District title since 1988.
Although Darr, who has participated in track since eighth grade, has made a habit of competing in a variety of events, his plan of attack for each one is really quite simple.
"Mainly, I just run as hard as I can when it gets to it," Darr said. "I just go all out, put my heart into it."
It's that attitude that Brandon said separates Darr from a lot of other track and field athletes.
"He just runs his butt off, and he just doesn't stop. A lot of kids, they feel pain and they're just like, 'I can't do it anymore.' He just pushes right through it," Brandon said.
That's because Darr has lofty goals for himself, and he continues to aim for school records as the high school track and field season begins to wind down.
Strasburg's 4x100 relay team has come close to beating the school record set one season ago (Darr was also on last year's record-setting relay squad), but the big one for Darr is in the 400. He has been closing in on the 51.74 mark all season, and he has just two weeks left to try to top it before the season comes to a close.
"He's had it on there [as a goal] and he's very close," Brandon said of the 400. "It's going to be great to see if he gets it."
Darr also hopes to start aiming at another school record next season.
"Next year I'm just going to come out and do whatever I've got to do, try to beat the 200 record if I can talk coach into it," Darr said. "A couple of times I've ran that, I'm only a little bit off of that [school record]."
Since May 14, Darr also helped Strasburg's boys win the inaugural Conference 35 track and field championship on Tuesday. And despite Darr's heavy focus on his individual goals, the team's success remains his priority.
"Everybody out here on the team, it's just fun being here with them all, going through every meet together. We're all becoming a little family in a way," Darr said. "Then just every day we try to make it a little better."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD