When the Kell standout first started running in the sixth grade, he took a liking to it, though he didn’t run much. Poteet’s father, David, who serves as a community coach for Kell’s cross country team, developed his son by not logging in more than 10 miles a single week.
The younger Poteet learned early on what the little tricks were on how to compete against top runners. He was also taught early how to stay in races mentally.
“I had him not run a lot of miles,” David Poteet said. “I started a youth team that ran 10 miles a week, at the most. The whole point was to have him run minimally at first. You can develop the body any time. If he develops his mind first, then you develop the physical strength after the mental strength.”
Once Logan Poteet understood the little differences between running laps around an oval track and running through the woods, and what it took to win on both surfaces, he began adding endurance and, eventually, medals.
Poteet won three particularly key medals this year, as a junior at Kell.
The first came in November, atop the podium of the Class AAAAA cross country state championships in Carrollton. Six months later in Jefferson, he won a state title with a personal-best time in the 1,600-meter run, then added a title in the 3,200.
For his efforts this year, Poteet is the 2013-14 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Male Athlete of the Year.
“I’ve always really liked distance running, and I worked on it for real long time, and it was real exciting,” Poteet said. “It was nice to see the work I put in come out.”
Poteet dominated the cross country state meet after the first mile, ultimately clocking in at 16 minutes, 13.38 seconds. His time was nearly a minute lower than his state time in 2012, when he finished ninth.
It was a race where Poteet needed to surge to get ahead, but waited until the beginning of the second mile to make a surge. Instead of making a kick down the stretch, he kicked it at the end of the second mile to get separation from the front of the pack.
Poteet crossed the finish line more than 13 seconds ahead of Lakeside-DeKalb’s Davis Stockwell.
“You’ve got to know now how to adapt to each race,” Poteet said. “If you’re racing guys who are strong, discourage them and surge early. If guys hang with you, you have to ride it and surge at the end.”
Poteet’s success in state meets carried over into the spring track and field season, when he won the 3,200 with a time of 9:23.17. Poteet won by nearly 10 seconds over a Region 7AAAAA rival, Forsyth Central’s Max Warner.
That time was 10 seconds faster than a year ago, when Poteet finished second in the event.
Poteet’s state title in the 1,600 was even more remarkable. He prevailed with a personal-best time of 4:15.49, a 4-second improvement over his previous best.
Last season, he clocked in at 4:28.54 and didn’t even place.
Poteet said the major drops of time had much to do with the extra speed work he did late in the season.
“I went into the race hoping I ran the times I did, and I didn’t know if I could,” Poteet said. “And they just went down and down. We did more speed work, and it helped me build up my strength and keep from peaking early.
“For instance, I would do maybe a mile or two to warm up, and then do six 200-meter hills and 400 repeats down at the track. It helped me develop speed that I didn’t have before the start of the season. You really have to have guts to dig down and start hurting.”