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Article Published March 7, 2019
Farley Flourishes in the Hurdles for the Indians
PJ Foti, Sports Writer

Bobby Farley has become immersed in the world of track and field since joining the outdoor team as a freshman at North Haven High School. Bobby says the sport helps him clear his mind whenever he’s having any problems in his life. Bobby had no problem on the track this winter as the senior turned in an excellent season that saw him make it all the way to the State Open in the 55-meter hurdles.

“Track, to me, has become everything. Maybe if I’m having a rough day, once I get to practice and start running, everything disappears,” says Bobby, who won the 55 hurdles at the SCC West Sectional Championship. “The only thing I focus on is running, hurdling, and being a leader for people to look up to. I want to inspire my teammates to be better.”

In addition to the 55 hurdles, Bobby mostly did the pole vault and the 4x400 relay for North Haven’s indoor team this year. Head Coach Marc Celmer appreciates the versatility and competitive nature that Bobby brings to the Indians.

“Bobby is the most versatile athlete on the team. Not only can he do the [field] events, but he also is our fastest guy in the 400. His versatility allowed me to put him where he can do the best for the team,” Celmer says. “That’s his major asset. He has a lot of natural talent, and he’s a highly competitive individual. When that competitiveness comes out, he’s tough to stop.”

As a member of the outdoor squad, Bobby’s specialties are the 110 high hurdles, the 300 intermediate hurdles, and the pole vault. However, Bobby will also routinely step into other events to prepare himself for the CIAC Decathlon at the end of the season. Bobby finished in 11th place at the decathlon last spring.

“For outdoor, they can move me around. If they need somebody to high jump, they’ll throw me in it. It’s kind of just wherever I’m needed, they use me,” Bobby says. “My coach noticed I had the skillset for [the decathlon], so I started doing it my sophomore year.”

Bobby believes that track provides the perfect outlet for his competitive mindset. Bobby isn’t just battling other high school athletes; he’s also competing against his own high standards.

“My mindset during most of it would be that I’m here for a reason. I worked just as hard as everyone else, if not more. I give every race everything no matter what,” says Bobby. “I love competing in the hurdles. Something about it, I just absolutely love it. It gives me the drive to get fast, keep working, and give everything I have.”

Bobby had a great year in his signature event during the recent postseason. Bobby started off by taking first place in the 55 hurdles with a time of 8.05 seconds at the SCC West Sectional Championship. After that, he finished third in the SCC Championship (8.10) and then placed second at the Class L State Championship (8.06) to qualify for the State Open.

“It was in 8th grade I learned I wanted to hurdle. Our gym teacher pulled out some plastic hurdles one day, and I happened to do pretty well. Little did I know I was going to be a natural at it,” Bobby says. “I do a lot of stretching beforehand, because the way you twist your hips in hurdling is very unnatural. I need to do 20 minutes worth of stretching to get my muscle memory working.”

Bobby served as a senior captain for the boys’ indoor track team this year. He liked being relied upon as a go-to guy for his teammates.

“I love being a captain. I love being able to know people are going to ask me for help and look up to me,” says Bobby, who also played cornerback for the North Haven football team. “I love being there to help coach and teach the new hurdlers.”

Bobby is still mulling where he wants to go to college as he draws interest from a few Division II track programs. With his final campaign in North Haven on the way, Bobby feels thankful that sports have become such a huge part of his life.

“Sports are always a great escape for me,” Bobby says. “I always want to push myself and prove I’m able to be there, and that I’m not going to back down when put into a hole.”