(Photo provided by Tyler Moore)
First of all, how did you first get involved
When I was a younger, I had a passion for golf that pretty much began the first time I was able to stand and hold one of those plastic golf sets meant for toddlers. The spring of sixth grade came and I still thought golfing was my niche, but there was no golf program available for sixth graders. There was, however, a sixth grade track program. I figured I might as well do something with my time, so I gave track a shot. Once there, I was much too slow to sprint, and much too small to throw, so naturally that left distance as my safest (and only) bet. I wasn't a stellar runner by any means, but had a lot of fun and was convinced to join the cross country team that following autumn, and then it just sort of stuck from there.
What are all your personal records, including XC?
5000 (xc): 15:46
Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?
I was actually on the varsity golf team as a 7th and 8th grader before I decided to switch to track, and I played basketball through sophomore year.
What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?
The 2015 Section 8AA 3200 meter run was one of the craziest races I've ever been in. If I remember correctly I was seeded around 6th, and I wasn't expecting to win at all. But, with two laps left I was in the lead, and that's honestly all I can really remember. It was my first ever Section win against some very strong competition and some very good friends, I'll never be able to forget that.
Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?
Because of the Granite Ridge Conference setup, being able to race against a team like Mora so often is something I'm extremely grateful for. Michael Schwinghamer, John Schwinghamer, and Alec Sanbeck are class acts and helped to build a championship cross country program. I've greatly enjoyed being able to compete alongside them and get to know them these past few years. Within the section, racing against Aaron Johnson from Detroit Lakes and Isaac Berg from Bemidji has allowed for some memorable competitions and tight/fast finishes. Both are truly great guys, and I'm looking forward to racing again later this season. Also, I know they aren't specific athletes, but both the teams from Alexandria and Willmar are some of the most respectful teams and programs around. Competing against them has been a pleasure.
Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?
My freshman year, the senior trio of Matt Massmann, Sebastian Sowada, and Cam Smith set a precedence for Flyer Track and Cross Country that I've been trying to maintain since. I can't thank them enough, along with all of the coaches I've had from middle school on that have helped me along the way.
What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?
Succumbing to and overcoming stress fractures my freshman year was one of the most difficult challenges I've had to face. The injury came in the heart of the cross country team, and that injury along with a perfect storm of other misfortunes thwarted our dream of making it to state as a team that year. But, six months later we were able to achieve redemption and qualify for state in the 4x800, a race that set the bar high early for what Little Falls had the potential to do.
What all happened, and how did everyone on the team mentally approach and deal with the situation?
At sections that year for cross country, I believe it was in Detroit Lakes, I was unable to compete at the level I should have been at due to a lack of optimal training for weeks thanks to a walking boot, and one of our top runners was unable to finish due to breathing problems, so that pretty much knocked us out of the running for qualifying for state. It hit is pretty hard, but we bounced back as quickly as we could. The seniors convinced me to come out for track instead of golf, and it ultimately paid off for us with a berth at state in the 4x800.
What are your main goals for this track season?
The main goals this year are to break the school record in the 3200 (9:36), break the school record in the 4x800 (8:05), and get as close as I possibly can to a 4:20 mile. Most of all, to enjoy my last few weeks as a Flyer with my teammates and friends. (UPDATE: We broke the 4x800 record last Friday at the Hamline Elite Meet, new record is 8:04!)
How are you feeling about where you are at performance and training-wise this season?
For this season, our coach has changed our workouts from high mileage to more short and intense speed work. So far, my teammates and I have been hitting times that are as fast and/or faster than the times we hit at the end of last year, so we feel that the change in strategy is paying off.
As a senior, how have your perspectives, strategies, or attitudes changed since you first started running, what advice would you give to younger track athletes?
When I was an underclassman, I used to get super serious before races to the point where I overthought things, psyching myself out and getting scared. I still get pretty nervous sometimes, but that's okay. I read once that there is a difference between getting nervous and getting scared before performing at something. Being scared means you don't want to perform, being nervous means that you do. So as time as gone on through my high school career, I've tried to move away from the scared feeling and more towards embracing my nervousness and having fun with it. My advice would be don't sweat the small stuff, when it comes down to it you are in control of your own race, and nothing can change that.
Do you have any college plans yet?
I plan to run Cross Country and Track at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) next year and pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Go Rebs!
What were some of the things that attracted you to Ole Miss?
Definitely both the coach and the team atmosphere. In Coach Vanhoy's short time there, he and a core of solid distance runners built Ole Miss into one of the most prominent distance squads at the Division 1 level, placing 4th at NCAA Cross Country Nationals last fall. Also, the team shared the perfect combination of work and play. I've had the pleasure of meeting some of my future teammates already, and I'm definitely excited to see what the future holds. The Rebels are certainly on the rise, and it would have been crazy of me to turn that chance down.
Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
I try not to be too superstitious, not everything is always going to go as planned, and remaining adaptable is an attribute I've been trying to work on.
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
I still enjoy golfing, not only in its standard form but also disc golfing as well. Doing those activities with friends, going to movies, and perhaps jumping off a cliff or two at Quarry Park in St. Cloud are high on the list. I also enjoy drawing as well as music, whether it be just listening to it or playing drums and trumpet.
Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.
I don't chew gum. Never have ¯\_(ツ)_/¯