From Soccer to Running for Wade Hampton's Jake Wadas

How are you reflecting on the first part of the season as the season winds down?
So far my season has played out pretty well. I have accomplished things that I am very proud of but the job's not done. My training has really shown in my times but I know that I need to keep my foot on the gas and really make these last few races count.

What do you hope to achieve the last few weeks of the season?
My biggest goal is to be the most competitive runner I can for these final few races. It is impossible to know what the future holds, but I know that I will give it everything I have and leave nothing behind.

Do you have any postseason race plans?
I plan to compete at Eastbay XC Championships as well RunningLane XC Championships after the high school season. I will then take a break and begin training for track season.

What goals do you have for track and field?
I plan to set some big PRs, work on breaking some school records, and defend my 1600 state title. (Watch the race)

How will you prepare prior to track and field season?
I will do a lot of base training and get in some higher mileage weeks throughout the winter. Our team will start doing some faster workouts closer to the season. I hope to help prepare my team and myself to be as competitive as we can on the track this spring.

What's the best type race scenario for you? How do you adapt?
I prefer getting out towards the front and packing with the other top guys in the race. I race best when there is a competitive front pack and we can all help each other as hard as we can. In addition, I go into races with a plan but not a very strict one. Every race is different so I do my best to stay relaxed and go with the flow throughout the race.

How do you look at competition?
Good competition is something I always look forward to. I love pushing myself to be the best that I can and having people there alongside me really helps me to achieve that goal. Personally, the more competitive the field, the better. I always enjoy getting opportunities to run against talented runners.

Tell us about your role on your team. How do you interact with teammates in this role?
I try to spread my passion and love for the sport to all of my teammates as well as be a leader on the team. I have been able to use my experience as a runner to be a role model for my teammates. Throughout the years, I have found myself being able to connect more with my teammates and to help show them how to be the best runners and people they can be.

What has been your motivation this season?
My main motivation this year is that I want to see what I am truly capable of and I know that there's so much more that I can accomplish. I want to go to sleep at night knowing that I am doing everything I can to be the best runner I can be. I remind myself that making sacrifices and putting in extra work can be tough but it is all worth it because I am doing it for the something I love.

How do you look at your ranking in the state?
I am proud of being ranked S.C. number three because it shows how far I have come and much work I have put in to get to that position, but I also know that I have a lot of room for improvement to be made.

What made you decide to run and why?
For most of my life I played soccer competitively. I knew of people that ran cross country but I never saw myself in the sport until after eighth grade. Friends and family had suggested I try it and I thought it might help my endurance on the soccer field. I started going to practice the summer before freshman year and quickly fell in love with the sport. Its competitive nature and the atmosphere of the team were major reasons I was so drawn to the sport.

How have you seen the sport grow and yourself in the sport?
Not only have I seen my times improve over my years of running, but I have seen my love and passion for the sport grow. Each year I find myself taking running more and more seriously and each year I find a deeper appreciation for the sport.

How has the pandemic impacted your perspective on life and the sport?
The pandemic really taught me how important it is to take advantage of your opportunities. Nothing is given to you and everything can be taken away. It has taught me to appreciate every chance I am given to race and leave everything I have on the course/track.