What made you decide to debut at the end of September?
It was not so much of a decision as it was a circumstance. I just could not find a weekend to fit a race in with the college visits I was going on as well as the initial cancellation of Lake Murray due to Hurricane Florence.
How did you focus during the delay?
I was easily able to maintain my focus just by looking at the fast times the other guys in the states were posting. I knew I had to keep working if I wanted to compete this guys.
What was summer training like for you?
Summer training went very well for me. I was able to handle more volume as well as maintain a higher consistency with my training. I attribute this mostly to doing a better job of staying hydrated and choosing better times of day to run at when it was less hot.
What goals do you have your senior season?
In terms of cross country, I would like to win another state championship as well as qualify for Foot Locker nationals.
Do you have any college ideas at this time?
I have taken visits to Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Duke. I will pick from one of these four soon.
What post season plans and goals do you have?
As I mentioned earlier, I really want to make it to Foot Locker this year. Competing at Foot Locker has been a dream of mine ever since middle school when I was first introduced to the sport. I will also probably compete at Dash for Doobie again as a tuneup for Footlocker South where I'd like to run 9:0x .
Did you encounter any summer challenges? Please explain.
My school, Academic Magnet, has a senior thesis requirement. As such, I went to The Medical University of South Carolina over the summer and collected data for my research. Unfortunately, this meant I would have to miss summer practice with my team so I ended up doing almost all of my training alone.
What meet do you have next?
I will be competing at Great American this weekend in the ROC division.
Walk us through Saturday's race.
Going in to Saturday, I did not feel very well. I had a tough week of training which was only compounded by the high temperatures. Seeing as I had not done much in terms of race specific work, my coach and I decided it would be in my best interest to set a tough pace from the start and make the most of my strength.
How did it feel to win Saturday?
It felt very good to open my season with a win. However, I know I still have a lot of work to do if I want to accomplish my goals for this season.
Coach comments, Brian Johnson: