B-HP’s Carlos Oliver not really ’used to winning’

Carlos Oliver of Belton-Honea Path talks about the season and winning two races so far this season. 

Name: Carlos Oliver
Personal bests: 5K: 16:40, 1600m: 4:36, 800m: 2:03
Hobbies: running of course, biking, swimming
Academic interest:  Civil engineering 

How did you get involved in the sport and why? 
I got involved by running my pacers in eighth grade and everyone said I should run track because "I was fast.” I didn't listen to them that year, but a year later as a freshman I started something I never knew I would love. 

Tell us about your Bob Jenkins Coaches Classic race this past weekend, what did it mean to finish first and have a second win for the season (Eye Opener)? 
To win was just a surprise to me. I just want to able to compete as one of the best in the state and represent South Carolina. I'm not really used to winning so crossing the finish line first just has a special feeling.

How did your race at Coaches Classic unfold? 
I ran the first mile in second place and saw the mile was 5:15. I figured we would go out around five-flat. I was feeling really great and decided to take the lead. After the hill I took 10 seconds of long strides to get my stride pattern back and saw the two-mile split of about 10:58, so I realized I wasn't going to be able to hit a very impressive time. The last mile I just didn't want to lose my lead I had made, so I pushed to first 800 of it to hopefully break anybody near me down. 

Do you have any family members involved in the sport? 
No. I'm the first of my family to run.

What roles do you have on the team this year as the top runner? 
I would like to lead my team to a region title and hopefully top three teams at state.

What goals do you have for the rest of the season? 
I would love to run a low 15 minute 5K and hit some big PR's in track.

Do you have any post season cross country meets planned?  
Yes, I'm planning on running Foot Locker South. 

Do you have a specific race strategy that works best for you? 
Somewhat, I just like to hang in near the top and work the last mile.

What do you enjoy about the Belton-Honea Path team and being on the course with them daily?  
B-HP supports us. I just like to play around before practice before getting ready to hammer some hard speed workouts.

What plans do you have for the future?
I hope to go to college for running and earn a degree in engineering.

Do you remember your first race?
Yes, I ran a 20:53 and it hurt so bad.

How did summer training go? 
Really well. I put in 500+ miles with my training partner (Max McCurley).

What do you remember the most from being a runner? 
The pain you feel in a race and the feeling you get once you finish.

Do you have a pre-race tradition? 
Not really.

How do you balance academics, athletics and other responsibilities? 
Well this year is my first year running a lot. I do two-a-days everyday I run every morning before school with Max and head off to school to run after school and do homework. Its become a cycle that just repeats and repeats. 

What challenges or injuries have you encountered in the sport? How did you stay motivated during this time? 
I've been very fortunate  to have not received any major injuries.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why? 
Fly, because flying would be cool.