Salute To Seniors - Henry Hughes

Henry Hughes
Hopkins High School

What are all your personal records?
800m - 1:58.43
1600m - 4:26.77
5K (xc) - 15:54:71

How did you get started as a track or cross country athlete?
I joined the cross country team because a friend did back in 7th grade. It wasn't my idea but I thought I'd give it a try.

What was your most memorable competition?
I'd have to say making state for cross country my senior year and getting 3rd at True Team. Both events I PR'd which was very satisfying.

Who were your biggest competitors in your track/XC career?
I think looking back myself was one. There is a lot of mental blocks holding us back as runners I think.
However Wayzata has been a very strong team throughout my High School career. 

What was your greatest accomplishment as a track/XC athlete?
My junior year I was one spot out of making the alternates for the State Meet. That meant I could watch but not suit up. It was something that was a big disappointment to me as my team won the state meet and I couldn't be up there with them. But I turned that into motivation. My senior year in my last race at sections I made the cut for State. So competing at State that year was very satisfying to have done it as an individual.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your track/XC high school?
Be more confident. Apply myself more and sooner than I did. There is such a mental part of running that takes some time to understand and break through. 

How have your coaches been an influence to you as an athlete and a person?
Our coaching staff is really something special. Again its something you don't fully realize as you get started and as you progress but when you really start to achieve you understand how much they are a part of your success. I think that I've matured as a runner and as a person. Being able to be a captain on the cross country team made me concerned about others and made me invested in their success. I learned about doing what it takes to help a team not just yourself. As a distance runner coach Harris has played a very big role in my development as a person and a runner.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Breaking the 2:00 barrier in the 800 has been a focus of mine. It always seemed that I'd get so close but something was holding me back. Conditions. Circumstances. But at True Team State I had no other alternative. The chances at this were nearly gone. It was a hot day. I had to run the 1600 first. On paper this wasn't the day it would happen but mentally I had to commit and just go. Breaking two minutes and PRing by a good chunk in both the 1600 and 800 on the same day and getting to podium with the team for 3rd is something I will never forget.