Salute To Seniors is a medium for "senior farewells". We wanted to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time as well as invite those seniors to tell their stories from the past four years. We will be posting this series through July, and already have a number of submissions, if you would like to submit check out this article for how to do so.
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What was your most memorable race or moment?
As a whole, there were many moments that were incredibly memorable during my high school career. My junior year Monmouth County 1600 win was a defining moment for myself as a runner, but the most memorable part was jogging over to my teammates and best friends right after who were laughing and cheering as loud as I have ever heard them.
Also, one of my most fond high school memories will always be my last 800. Winning the NPA 800 against a talented field, coming off a loss the week prior, and immediately finding my Dad and being able to hug him while we were both tearing up, knowing that I had given everything I had to avenge a bad loss.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
There were a few runners that I had the opportunity to have some rivalries with. My junior year it was definitely Drew Maher. He was one of the state's greatest high school runners, and every race against Drew took everything I had to compete for a win. This year it was Sean Dolan and Devin Hart. We rarely raced, but their results constantly pushed me forward and gave me the chance to constantly push myself further in my training.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was undoubtedly having the opportunity to run for CBA. I owe everything I am to this program.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?
If I had the opportunity to do it all again, I wouldn't change a single thing. Are there races and losses I regret? Sure, but that's the beauty in running. I am everything that I am because of each run, practice, workout, and race. But, on a side note, it would have been nice to win a MOC title.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The biggest obstacle I faced over my four years was myself. I am an incredibly stubborn and competitive person, and understanding how to use that was a challenge at first. It took some time, but I had to learn how to achieve my goals in the best suited way for myself, and understanding that all good things come with patience and persistence. Learning and accepting who I am both on and off the track became vital in the pursuit of great things.
What will you miss the most?
I will always miss my teammates and best friends more than they can ever imagine. The feeling of walking into the track house (usually a few minutes late) ready to put some work in will forever be embedded into my mind.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
My advice to younger athletes is three fold. First, become a student of the sport. You can't beat any high level competition if you don't understand how they work mentally and physically. Learning your competition as well as the workings of the greatest runners to ever live will always be beneficial in any form of racing.
Secondly, as cliche as it sounds, there is no such thing as a goal that is too big. Never fear what you want to become.
Lastly, never mock someone for having a lofty goal. Those who do, do so only because they fear someone else will attain the kind of success that scares them. Respect those who want to be great, because those who chase success are giving their lives to this sport.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
The coaches at CBA care even more so about their athletes becoming great men, than they do about performance. It is evident in the way that the program works that you cannot be the best running version of yourself if you are not striving to be the best life version of yourself. I could not have asked for better coaches in my four years at CBA.
What are your post-high school or college plans?
I will be racing in a Georgetown singlet for the next few years, with only the highest of aspirations.
Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
There are so many people I would like to thank.
Most of all: to my mom for being my continuous rock. She is the strongest person I have ever met, and the sacrifices that she and my dad have made to give my siblings and I the best lives possible have showed me who I want to be.
To my dad: thank you for being there every step of the way. I cannot wait to continue being held up by you after races, wanting to smile, puke, and cry all at the same time. You have taught me the value of hard work while never pushing me to run for any reason other than my own. I can't wait for many more years of you believing in my ridiculous goals.
To my siblings: thank you for being so understanding of this crazy sport, and for just being yourselves.
To Catie and Aidan: thank you for watching over me. Everything I do is for you two.
To my extended family: thank you for going out of your way to support me.
To Coach McCaff: thank you for making me someone.
To Coach Karl: thank you for pushing me towards something greater than myself.
To Q: thank you for always caring about everything.
To Mazz: thank you for being my biggest mentor as a runner, and for teaching me how to win.
To Coach Sanderson: thank you bringing those everyday conversations to practice, and for quietly showing me how to work as hard as possible.
To Luke Reid: thank you for being there through it all. You've been my brother and best friend, and I will always miss trash talking you, and being trash talked by you every run. Can't wait to beat you at NCAA's.
To Drake Anzano: thank you for teaching me how love this sport when I was trying to figure it all out.
To my brothers: thank you for these four years, because of I wasn't racing for you all, then none of this would have been worth it.
To everyone who has ever supported me and to all those who have ever been opposed to me: thank you for pushing me to be better. I will always love high school running.
To MileSplit: thank you for an amazing platform and the opportunity to be heard in this sport.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
CBA XC vs Everybody until I die. 11:30.