Southside Senior Samuel Fried Talks Unusual Season

How was it for you to miss your junior track season?
Missing track season last year was rather unfortunate, although it did provide a fantastic test of mental perseverance since the runs in the spring had to be done alone. I was disappointed that I couldn't train with my teammates and that I wasn't able to compete against other teams, since that is a lot of what makes running enjoyable for me. However, hopefully the workouts were still beneficial, even if they were alone.

Rankings: AAA individual | AAA team | Region 2-3A team

How were you looking at your senior year of cross country as updates from the pandemic were received?
I felt pretty nervous that we would not be able to have a season this fall. Cross country is my preferred sport, so I would have been sad about having to miss my last season. Hopefully, if everyone follows the rules, the season will go smoothly from this point onward!

My team! Training with you is always one of the highlights of my day.

What are you hoping to achieve this season?
This season, I'm hoping that my team can win our region and qualify for the state meet.

What's your motivation?
My motivation comes from my teammates, coaches, friends, and family. They are all very encouraging, and their enthusiasm helps me a lot.

What goals do you have?
I would like to run well, improve, and have fun this season.

How are you helping newer runners this season?
It has definitely been more difficult to recruit this season than in previous seasons. My team put a bunch of recruitment posters up around the school, and a few new people have come out. However, with only three people sitting at each lunchroom table (which probably fits 12 or 16 people normally), it has been a bit more difficult to invade groups of unsuspecting freshmen innocently eating lunch in the cafeteria and bombard them with information about cross country. For new runners on the team, we are trying to build up their stamina and encourage them!

How and when did you get involved in the sport?
Prior to high school, I had no experience whatsoever with running. During the summer between eighth and ninth grade, the cross country team at Southside was recruiting pretty intensely, and a few people on the team got in contact with me once they learned I was planning to attend the school. At some point near the beginning of the school year, I finally decided that I would give it a try, and I've been doing it ever since.

How did you handle summer conditioning?
Most of summer conditioning had to be done through virtual practices for my team. This wasn't ideal, but it was much better than training alone during the spring. We "met" in the mornings, so it wasn't too hot.

What would you like to say to other runners in the state?
Best of luck this season! I hope you're all healthy and I hope we race at some point!

What's your post high school plans / goals?
I would like to attend (and possibly run during) college after high school. Hopefully I will be able to figure out what I want to do professionally while there because I have a number of interests right now.

How has it been with mask rules between different parts of practice?
At my school, the mask rules have been pretty simple: if you're not exercising, you should be wearing one. I think my team has been doing a good job of following the guidelines.

Anything else?
Please wear your masks, wash your hands, and stand apart from each other! Stay safe!

My team! Training with you is always one of the highlights of my day.

Are you a senior and want to talk about your experiences and thoughts this season? Send John an email.