Interview: Lexington's Andrew Harris aiming for individual state title

Full name: Andrew Bailey Harris
Date of birth: Feb. 13, 1992
Hobbies: Kayaking, traveling, hiking
Academic interest: Political science
Event PRs: 400 - 52.5
800 - 2:00
1600 - 4:33
3200 - 10:14
5000 - 16:14

Lexington senior Andrew Harris talks about being a distance runner and the future as he will continue his career at Winthrop next fall.

scrunners: How did you become involved in your sport?
harris: I became involved since my dad has been coaching cross country. I came to cross country and track meets when I was growing up, so it was a easy choice to start running. It also helped me condition for basketball, which I was playing at the time.

scrunners: When did you become involved in the sport?
harris: I ran some USATF cross country meets and Footlocker when i was in 5th and 6th grade, then I started running cross country in 7th grade. I didn't start running track until 10th grade, however.

scrunners:  What obstacles have you faced?
harris: I've had some recurring injuries that most runners deal with at some point or another, shin splints and plantar fasciitis, but I have overcome these injuries and been healthy for the past two years.

scrunners: What have been the high points of your career?
harris: Definitely the state championship in cross country this past fall has been the high point.

scrunners: How did you get involved with track and field, specifically?
harris: I started running track after I stopped playing AAU basketball in the spring when I was in 10th grade.

scrunners: What was your first competition like?
harris: My track meet was a low key dual meet against Strom Thurmond. I didn't think much of it since I had been running cross country, it was just a race.

scrunners: Do you have parents, siblings or other relatives/friends that are involved in sports?
harris: Yes, my dad coaches basketball and cross country at Lexington and my eighth grade brother runs track, cross country and plays basketball. Also, my sister is a gymnast. A lot of my friends run cross country and track and have been for several years, we have a pretty large senior class this year.

scrunners: How have these people affected your career?
harris: In addition to coaching cross country, my dad has helped out with track (although mainly with hurdlers) so he has been a very important part. And when your teammates are some of your best friends, it definitely helps you push each other in practice and when meets come you don't want to let them down, so obviously a big effect there.

scrunners: Is there someone other than a family member or friend who has inspired you (maybe a professional athlete you’ve met or someone along that line)?
harris: I can't say there has been any specific major influence. Although I do look up to some of my favorite professional runners, Hicham el Guerrouj being my favorite.

scrunners: What goals do you have as an individual for this season?
harris: I want to win an individual state championship.

scrunners: What goals does your team have this season?
harris: We want to have someone in the top three in the 800, 1600 and 3200 at state.

scrunners: What long-term goals you have for your running career—where do you see yourself in three to six years?
harris: Long term I still want to be improving in six years, hopefully focusing on the 1500 in college. I want to be an NCAA All-American.

scrunners: How is training?
harris: Training is pretty good right now, we're is getting faster, hopefully we can get a few guys back from injury soon.

scrunners: What have you done recently for training?
harris: We've been on cycles, three weeks building in volume and intensity followed by one week taper, then building again. We switched to this program over the summer, and I've liked it a ton.

scrunners: Did you go to a camp prior to the season? Explain.
harris: We went to camp at Strictly Running for four days, which was great, I'd recommend it for anyone. We also went for a week down to a house my family owns at the Edisto River, with about our top 15 guys.

scrunners: How has this training equipped you to reach your goals and help your team reach its goals?
harris: It helps us get in solid weeks of training and push each other over the summer. It helps keep everyone accountable on their training.

scrunners: What is your favorite event to compete in?
harris: My favorite event is the mile, hands down. Its the perfect event.
scrunners: What pre-race/event traditions you (or the team) have?
harris: We really don't have any. Pretty boring answer, but its true.

scrunners: What are your favorite subjects in school?
harris: My favorite subject is social studies. Specifically right now, my favorite class is Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

scrunners: How do you balance school and athletics?
harris: I just make sure I finish all my homework and studying as soon as I get home from practice. If you have a lot of work you can always do it on the bus during meet days too. Right now, my schedule is pretty easy though, so its not hard to balance.

scrunners: What keeps you motivated to do your best in class and on the course/track?
harris: In class the best motivation is definitely scholarship money for college. On the track and course, it can be different things. Past races, the guy beside you, people yelling. Anything.

scrunners: Have you considered competing in college?
harris: Yes, I've signed with Winthrop.

scrunners: What are your goals for your post-high school career?
harris: I want to qualify for an NCAA championship and hopefully be an All-American and get some school records.

scrunners: What’s one thing you would do with unlimited time and resources? Why?
harris: Well I'd probably buy the school a Mondo track that football and soccer can't walk all over. For our other facilities being really nice, the track here could use some improvement.