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Apple Valley's Hechsel quick to change sports

By Star Tribune, 03/27/12, 3:09PM CDT

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Mitch Hechsel

Mitch Hechsel of Apple Valley has to quickly make the transition from basketball to track.

Hechsel was a starter on the boys' basketball team that completed its season on March 16. The Eagles' first track meet is set for April 5.

Hechsel also was a member of the Eagles' football team in the fall. Here is a closer look at Hechsel:

The best movie I've seen in the past year? "Project X."

Three songs I never skip on my iPod are ... " "American Ride" by Toby Keith; "Knee Deep" by Zac Brown Band; "Donald Trump" by Mac Miller.

Three words or phrases my friends or teammates might use to describe me? Funny; nice; athletic.

What is your favorite meal before a game? Chocolate chip pancakes made by my mom.

At my first varsity practice, I felt ... very nervous and excited.

What are you working on in the offseason? Improving my legs and shoulder strength. I do all of my strength work with our sprinters coach, and he is really good at getting me motivated.

What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete? Taking sixth place last year in the 400 meters at state. It was huge because I went from being fifth in the conference one year to sixth in the state the next.

What are your goals for the 2011-12 school year as an athlete? To improve my times and marks in every event. Also to break the school record in the 400 meters.

To get focused for competition, I ... visualize everything that needs to be done to win, and me doing it.

How did you get started playing the sport or sports you play now in high school? My parents put me in football, basketball and baseball when I was very young and I have played sports since. I didn't really like baseball as much, so my ninth grade year I decided to try something new.

Who is your school's biggest rival, and why? There isn't much of a rivalry in track, but in any other sports it's Eastview because they are the crosstown school.

If you could change one thing about high school sports, what would it be? More kids come out for the track team because there is always room for more people and you make so many new friends.

I know I have an edge on an opponent when ... I am passing my opponent on the backstretch because I know I have the endurance to finish the race.

When you have time off during vacation, what do you like to do? I enjoy almost anything, like swimming and skim boarding on the beach and going to amusement parks or sporting events.

Who is your favorite college or pro sports team and why? My favorite sports team is the Minnesota Vikings. Even though they are in a down year I am still a loyal fan.

Do you have a secret talent -- and if so, what is it? I am really good at disc golf.

What is the best sports advice you ever received? "You can't win until you are not afraid to lose."

RON HAGGSTROM

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