Keiser Freetly Likes To Gun For The Lead

Keiser Freetly of Lac qui Parle Valley class of 2018

Personal Records:

400:  52.4 

800:  1:57.78

1600:  4:31.42

3200:  10:35

5000:   16:12.00

State XC 2016 - 17th

State XC 2015 - 33rd

State XC 2014 - 54th

State T&F 2017 - 800 meter run 2nd place; 1600 meter run 16th place 

What sports did you grow up playing?

I played baseball until 4th grade, football until 5th grade, and basketball until 8th grade. I turned to running because I honestly was not very good at football or baseball. My sister Alaysia Freetly, now running at NDSU, was in it and was pretty good at it. I always wanted to join track though, even when I was just a little kid. 

Who coaches you for distance running in cross country and track & field? What does his training consist of early season, mid-season, and late season?

John Shurb has always been my main coach.  He has been coaching for around 20 years and has had a state champion team. My sister ran on a runner-up team with him.

He asks the runners every day about injuries.  It is not all about winning for him.

He considers everyone for goals and motivation.  He supervises the practices a number of ways.  Sometimes we take a bus and he is able to see us on a regular basis on a route.  He also takes the time to bike or run with us on some days as well.

What did you do to get ready for the cross country season this year?

First of all you should know that I workout all year long.  I do my running on a treadmill during the winter along with some basic weight training during the off-seasons.  The lifts I do are the squat, dumbbell benches, and rows.

During the summer I do a 45 minute run at around 7 minute mile pace but I also use a Garmin sometimes to see if I can improve my pace during that run.  I do circuit runs such as 6 x 300 at mile pace with sit-ups and pushups in between.  I might also do something like 8 x 200 at 800 meter pace on other days.  My long run is 70 minutes and I finish with the last 15/20 minutes with an up tempo.  This long run might be about 11 miles.

Have you had any obstacles in your career?

I missed State cross country my 8th grade year by two seconds and that was very hard for me.  I kind of knew that it was rare for an 8th grade boy to make it to state but my workouts indicated I had a chance to go.  I may have started a bit too fast that day.

I also missed State track my sophomore year because I collapsed with 15 meters to go in the mile race. We were running a very fast time and my legs just gave out on me. My time going into the race was 4:36.  If I could have finished well I would have made a 4:24.  What happened was I got dizzy and kind of wobbled to the finish line and fell. My dad and coach came and got me and took me to our tent. I then drank a lot of water. It was hot that day and I might have gotten heat exhaustion or something like that.

Tell us how you have done in the Camden Conference Cross Country Meet.  Did you or your team win it last year? Who will be the top individuals and teams this year?  What is your prediction?

Lac qui Parle Valley High School has won the team title the past two years. I was conference champ last year. The other top individuals this year other than myself are Mikey Kvaal of Lac qui Parle Valley, and Anthony Wollum of Canby. We are favored to win it as a team again this year.

Name some of the teammates who inspire and motivate you the most. 

I didn't really have any teammates that motivated me over the years except for my sister. She's the one that really got me into running and ran with me my whole high school career until she went to NDSU. She is a huge inspiration.  Alaysia is three years older than me.  My brother Jordan Schwarz is eight years older than me and was a football player.  My dad, Doug Freetly is 51 years old and also runs with me sometimes.

I know that you finished third in Section 3A last year and will be the top returning runner.  Who are the top individuals and teams from the section? 

It felt great to return to State last year with the team! We hope to improve our finish this year. I see Murray County Central and Redwood as possibly the toughest teams for us this year there.  Other top returning individuals include Anthony Wollum; Mikey Kvaal; Justin Clarke of Murray County Central; and Joshua Tasta of Montevideo.

What meet do you most look forward to this year?

I really looked forward to Milaca because of the size and the competition that the meet brings.  At Milaca this year I started out with the top six runners and moved to third place at the mile behind Declan Dahlberg and Geno Uhrbom.  With 400 meters to go I got even with Dahlberg and managed to pass him with about 300 to go.  Then I finished 8 seconds behind Uhrbom.  Lac qui Parle Valley managed to win the team title.  The other runners on that team were Mikey Kvaal, Ezekiel Sather, Stephen Martin, Mason Brehmer, Eean Allpress, and Colby Deuth.

How do you go about deciding what your race strategy will be?  Do you study past results of opponents?  Do you plan where to start or who to follow in a particular meet?  Do you stay with the lead pack and decide at which point you will take off on a finishing kick/drive?

I usually decide the night before; it's usually the same strategy. I usually always take the lead in races unless I know that there is someone else in the field that has ran faster than I have, then I decide during the race based on how they start. I used to always just stay in the middle to front pack area but ever since my junior year I have always started fast and try to at least be in that front three.

Is cross country a team sport? 

XC is just as much of a team sport as Football is. You always want the team to do well as a whole! You need every runner to do well if you want the whole team to perform well. Every runner counts and every runner helps!