First of all, how did you first get involved with running?
I first started running cross country in 8th grade, after I quit football the year before. I didn't want to start track right away just because I just wanted to go home and nap after school. So I started track in 10th grade.
What are all your personal records, including cross country?
400m - 56/57
800m - 2:01
1600m - 4:27
3200m - 9:55
5k - 16:32
Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?
I played football, basketball, baseball until 7th grade when I started cross country. I played baskeball all four years of high school, and it was my main sport until this year when I decided to shift my focus more towards running.
What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?
The section cross country race last year, It was my first time going to state and the section was very competitive, the whole race I had to know where I was and who I had to beat.
Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?
Definitely our whole section. For the most part, the top runners are very equal in ability so when sections comes, the races are tight and you don't really know who will pull through.
(Photo provided by Jack Korte)
Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?
No doubt my coach Erik Klunik, I would say he's been the most impactful person in my life outside of my family. He's showed me time and time again that hard work pays off, which has carried into my life off the track.
What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?
I don't think I have faced many hard challenges, but I feel as if I have had to learn lessons the hard way many times, When I first began running I hated it, there are days now when I will dread going for a 6 mile run, but the reason I've always kept with the sport is because I love the competition part. In past seasons when I have neglected doing summer training it has come back to bite me in the end and that is the greatest challenge I have had to face is the thought of knowing I could have done more but didn't. That is what motivates me now, knowing that I can put in the work and be one of the best and if I choose not to, and then it will show that I didn't do the offseason work.
What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?
My main goal is State in the mile, I also want to go sub-4:18 in the mile and sub-1:58 in the 800.
I saw your races at the Irondale meet, and you look like you're off to a great start so far. How do you feel about where you are at right now as far as your goals go?
I have never come into a track season in shape so this is kind of unfamiliar territory to me. But before the season I set some pretty lofty goals and am pretty confident in them so far.
As a senior, what advice do you have for younger athletes just starting as track or cross country athletes?
Compete with everything you do, I know a lot of people think they do, but I have seen plenty of guys that are very fast and take themselves out of races mentally or physically because they think to much and don't just compete. It applies to practice as well, using workouts to compete against teammates was key for me to learn how to race.
Do you have any college plans?
I recently committed to DePaul University for cross country and track & field.
What were some of the things that attracted you to DePaul?
I wanted to run at a Division 1 program, so that caught my eye right away, and then when I visited the campus the urban campus was very attractive to me.
Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
I try to wear very non-traditional running clothes to meets.
What type of non-traditional running clothes?
A lot of old retro type clothes from goodwill, I wear my all white air force ones to every meet.
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
I am a big fan of sneakers and vintage clothes, so you would most likely find me at the mall or thrifting at good will.
Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.
I have about 40-50 pairs of Jordans.