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January 18, 2014

The Latham lineage

Triton alumna set to start season at Wisconsin

(Continued)

Putting it all together – nailing all five events – seldom happens for any pentathlete. Points are given according to how well an athlete jumps, throws and runs. One nick of a hurdle can ruin a meet.

The training is grueling. “Each practice is dedicated to 2-3 events, and I’ll go anywhere between 2-4 hours from warm-up to finish,” Deanna explained. “But I love it. It keeps me fit and healthy, and it helps me budget my time. I am used to a busy lifestyle. I am much more focused with track in my life.”

That is evident from her 3.6 grade point average in elementary education. But her teaching career will be on hold after graduation while she trains.

It’s in her blood

Helen (Dawe) Latham held school records in the 600 and 800 meters as an undergrad at Maine. K.C. set the school record in the 200-meter dash as a senior. They enjoyed above-average college careers.

“Not compared to Deanna,” K.C. quipped. “We weren’t on the same stage she is competing on.”

They had a pretty good idea Deanna had a gift when she was 4 years old. She was stronger and faster than all the other kids her age. She started gymnastics at 7, and a year later she could morph from a seated position into a handstand without her feet touching the floor. In middle school, she was long-jumping 16 feet.

By the time she graduated from Triton Regional H.S., she was an 11-time state champion between the indoor and outdoor seasons and placed sixth at the New Balance National Championship.

Her biography on the UW website takes a good 15 minutes to read.

It is K.C. and Helen’s influence, in large part, which fuels Deanna’s insatiable drive. They’re not the push-push-push, screaming, constant advice type. Quite the opposite.

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