1) What were some of the highlights of your high school cross country and track careers?
Looking back on some of the highlights honestly brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. It goes from demolishing more school records than any student ever at Warren High School, to conference championships, to All-Ohio statuses, to being the first ever male athlete from WHS to qualify and compete at a national level. But the one thing that will always stay with me, and I'll remember for life, is when my best friend, Jake Herriott, pushed through his two year injury and ran me down to claim a regional title in the 1600m! It was Jake's first ever open event win. Jake wasn't intimidated by me, wasn't scared of the atmosphere, he was hungry. So me being the returning 1600m regional champion I got the pleasure to push, scream, and clap on my teammate, and my best friend, to his first ever open title. A week later, he and I both earned All-Ohio results.
2) Did you encounter any struggles or adversity along the way that you had to overcome?
Going from football my freshman year, to cross country my sophomore year, and becoming a middle to long distance runner on the track, I had to adapt to this new, and at that moment, weird atmosphere. Then I had to make new friends and later down the road those "friends" became my brothers. Thankfully health or injury has not been an issue with me. For me it's been more of a struggle with mental toughness. Through my running career I've always second guessed every single one of my moves. Finally towards the end of my senior year, with first place finishes, a new PR set, numerous school records broken, and more encouragement from my friends and family (especially my mom, thanks Kathi) that anyone could ever ask for, I realized that I was good enough to run and I have gotten this far and I am here for a reason.
3) Aside from the competition, what was the best thing about being apart Warren's program?
I was apart of a program that didn't just make track a sport, we made track a culture. During the off season all of the guys were staying fit, making sure each of us was in the weight room, keeping each other's heads in the books, and always making sure we are on our "A" game. If we caught one of her teammates slacking or letting up during a lift or workout we wouldn't degrade or push them down, we would uplift and encourage one another to maintain a laser focus. Setting standards and keeping the bar set high was the best part of Warren Track and Field for me. We are WARRIOR NATION!
4) Are there any coaches or teammates that you've worked with over the past four years that you'd like to thank?
Starting late, jumping into cross country my sophomore year, I was really nervous and I didn't know what I was doing or getting myself into. Thankfully I had a great coach and a great mentor to help me and guide me into becoming the runner that I am today. A lot of the credit goes to the man himself, Coach Neil Brague. He supplied me with the right workouts and made sure I was healthy and staying that way. When I thought I couldn't reach my goals, he always supported me and kept me going. I can't thank him enough for helping me reach my potential. He helped me identify my weaknesses and turned them into my strengths. Also a huge shout out to my track coach, Tyler Schaad for keeping me working and to my boys! #BullBoys
(Trent Sayre proved to be a threat to win any race that he entered during his senior campaign).
5) What are your plans and goals for the future? Do you intend on continuing with the sport in college or in another capacity?
My future plans are to continue my athletic (track and xc) and academic career at the University of Charleston (WV) where I will be majoring in Political Science starting in August 2019. Some goals I have set for myself is to be on the varsity squad my freshman year and I would love to be a national qualifier as a freshman on the track. Some of the life goals that I am aiming for is to get in the sub 4 minute mile club, be an All-American, and to become a successful man and have a stable and influential life.
6) What advice would you give to a younger athlete who's hoping to have a successful and enjoyable high school career?
Always outwork the person next to you and work twice as hard in the classroom as you do on the track. Remember that you're a student first and your coaches want you to be just as successful in the classroom as you are in your sport. Maintaining good grades can be difficult, you can't be afraid to ask for help if you ever find yourself struggling to maintain that balance, do not hesitate. The majority of us are not going to make a career out of our sport, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy your four years because once it's over, it's over. Never stop chasing your dreams!