Athlete Spotlight: James Wood track & field athlete Mazie Clark

By Walt Moody The Winchester Star May 14, 2018

James Wood High School 18-year-old senior

Sport: Track & Field. Events: Discus, shot put

Parents: Karie Wratchford and Patrick Hepner

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about track & field: I enjoy the competition, not only that but it’s a friendly competition. Even with the teammates, it’s more like a family. Everyone is always there to cheer you on. As an upperclassman, I enjoy having the ability to help the underclassmen. That’s something I enjoy the most and it makes me feel happy.

Most memorable moment in track & field: It was either my freshman or sophomore year and it was the Sherando Invitational and it was snowy and cold. I remember the whole team huddled together for warmth. That’s the coldest I’ve ever been. Making it to regionals last year was a big step for me, too.

Most embarrassing moment in track & field: When I fall out of the circle or hit the side poles. It’s funny, but at the same time you’re like, ‘Why did I do that?’

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: George Washington, because I’m a history buff and that’s what I want to major in. I would love to see his views on what our country has become; my great grandmother [Damie Wratchford], she died when I was about 8. I really didn’t get to know her. She was always there for me and made me laugh; Hugh Jackman, because he’s my favorite actor and a good person in general.

If you could use a time machine, where/when would you go: I would go back to the Civil War because I’m a history buff and I love that time era. To be there when some of these significant events that formed our nation happened — even Winchester changing hands 74 times — it’s awesome.

If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go: Australia. One of my favorite movies is “Australia” in 2008 with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. It is so cool down there.

Favorite teacher: Mr. [Joseph] Hamaker, he was my physics teacher last year and I’m a physics aide for him this year. He is a great teacher and a funny guy. When I have trouble in physics, he is always there to help me, and I’m there this year trying to help other people. He’s always making jokes and pushing me to be better in track because he used to be a distance coach.

Favorite team: Washington Redskins

Favorite movie: “Australia” (I’m also into the Marvel movies, too.)

Favorite TV show: “The Office”

Favorite song: “Take on Me” by A-ha

Favorite food: My mom’s Reuben sandwiches

Plans after high school: I plan to go to Christopher Newport and major in history. Right now, I’m not on the throwing team, but I hope I am able to get on there. My grandfather, he loves history, too, and that’s something we always shared together. He would take me to all of these historical places. He took me the first time to Harpers Ferry and I absolutely loved it. ... I actually want to be a curator in a museum.

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