Wolves' Terry already flying high in his life

The teammates stand nearby, discussing and at times debating the merits of each candidate.

Afterward, as South Kitsap’s Aaron Terry waits for the Narrows League Cross Country Championships, he becomes bashful when asked about the presidential hopefuls.

Terry is eagerly awaiting his first opportunity to vote in a presidential election next year, but wants to learn more about the candidates before he makes a decision. After all, both major parties have yet to nominate a candidate.

Research and study are a way of life for Terry.

Athletics are his release.

He simply felt he “was missing out” when he watched the track team and decided to join them as an eighth grader. He picked up cross country a year later on the advice of his friend Caleb Krueger.

“He’s a guy who’s very busy,” South cross-country coach Paul Zimmer said. “He made cross country a priority during the offseason, did the work and has been a second or third runner for us all year.”

It all falls into Terry’s plan. He said his athletic success — he qualified for the Oct. 27 district meet after he finished 13th among 71 competitors in 16 minutes, 44.94 seconds at the Narrows League meet Wednesday at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood — came through following his detailed academic plan.

Terry holds a 3.8 grade-point average and takes a full class load including Advanced Placement calculus and chemistry.

“I have to be very efficient with my time,” he said. “I try and hit the books when I get home. It’s what I need to get done versus what I want to get done.”

Similar to many, the mental plan often is altered as if it were written in pencil. Terry admits the household piano can be a distraction at times.

That’s because with as much pride he takes in academics and athletics, Terry also loves music. He’s involved Highlighters, a vocal jazz ensemble at South, in addition to the Chamber Choir.

But when Terry turns on the CD player, it usually isn’t the raspy voice of Louis Armstrong emitting from the speakers. He instead prefers “good rock” by Queen and Yes.

And his interest in the arts doesn’t end with music. He doesn’t participate in a winter sport so he can dedicate his extra time to South’s drama club.

“I was in ‘Oklahoma’ last winter and had a great time with that,” said Terry, who played the role of Ike Skidmore. “Nobody really knows him.”

That also could describe the route Terry will take after graduation. A Latter-day Saint, he plans to take a two-year mission where he hopes to learn to “become more charitable,” and then enroll at Brigham Young University.

“I would love to go into aeronautical engineering,” he said. “I want to design plans.”

In a sense, it incorporates all of his work: creative, fast and thought-provoking.

“I’ve always been fascinated by airplanes,” he said. “Flying in airplanes is the future.”

As he’s shown at South, Zimmer is confident Terry will maintain a strong performance.

“Whatever he chooses to do beyond here, he’ll do well,” he said.

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