Getting Ahead With Denmark Bartley


Denmark Bartley is a senior at Enloe High School and is serving his second year as captain of the cross country team, leading them to victory through hard work and dedication. I caught up with Denmark about his experience with the team, their performance so far, and his goals for the team’s future, as well as his own future he told me all about what he wants to achieve this season. 

“My goals are pretty standard.” He told me, “I’m trying to get bigger and better. I’m a sub 17-minute 5k runner. As for the team, my huge goal really details with the team’s fitness.” He explained, “We have too many injuries right now, and one of our runners is out for the season. I don’t feel like we’ll be able to go to state competitions as a team, but there are certain runners who can go on and qualify individually. But yea, I’m working towards captaining everyone to their peak fitness, I want them to be the best they can.”

Physicality aside, Denmark told me his biggest mental challenge was staying calm while in the game. “I know most of the time outside of cross country, I’m a chill, laid back person but I’m also very passionate about the sport. If I come in first place but get a time that I don’t like, I won’t be happy at all.” He also opened up to me about his passion for the sport, and why he continues to do it. “Well, I like running. My true sport is football, or… soccer, for Americans,” he laughed, “but there is something that I’ve always loved about running. I actually got into cross country by recommendation from my track friends. They really inspired me to run all year round and keep my fitness up for the next track season.”

His Jamaican roots, have propelled his interest in running, and he let me know it was something very important to him. “My passion really grew from Jamaica. I was on a track team in Jamaica, but I wasn’t outstanding. I often competed in 4x100m relays, and did 100m and 200m sprints. It grew from that, and after a while of not playing any sports, it resurged when I joined the Varsity track team in February of 2017.” He then went on about his aspirations to represent Jamaica sometime in the future. “I know everyone talks about Usain Bolt but there are so many other runners which I look up to and are great figures in track and field. Also, it is good to represent your home country wherever you go. I know I’m not in the Olympics, but winning a race and having that flag on your back is a huge dream for me.” 

Denmark also told me about what his senior season represents for him, and the future of the team. “I’m really hoping my senior season is going to end with a bang. I’ve always imagined it being insane, and I feel it’s going good so far. I’ve worn myself out the past 3 or 4 weeks so I’m going to let myself heal, I’m not injured!” He reassured me, “It’s just time for my body to stop for a bit. I just need to rest and condition and then I’ll be back in it. As for the next few years, the team is going to be in great hands, lots of the sophomore runners are exceeding everyone’s expectations, including their own. Im extremely confident in this team!” His face lit up, “I’m predicting state finals in 2 years, mark my words, I hope to be running in college by that time. I’ve been offered a couple scholarships actually, I have to hit certain times to get it, but I’m feeling really good.”

Denmark is not only a great representation of the team, but also an athlete of outstanding character, and humbleness who is leading the team to great new heights. He told me “Stay focused, the four words that can help anyone; You can do it.” He cracked a smile. “I’m just happy to do it, and to be able to do it so well. Let’s see how this season ends up.”