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I began playing sports when I was 5 years old with baseball. My running career officially began when I was in the 8th grade once I joined my middle school's track team. I almost instantly became the fastest runner on the team so I continued running throughout high school. I was never the best runner on my high school team. My high school team had the top 7 runners automatically be on the varsity squad and everyone else was either on the JV or the Froshoph squads. I fluctuated my position on the team where myself and a couple of other guys would battle for that number 7 spot. It wasn't until track season during my junior year where distance running had "clicked" for me. My inspiration to excel much further into my running career was derived from watching the movie "Without Limits", a biography about Steve "Pre" Prefontaine and his athletic endeavors going from being a small town runner in Coos Bay, Oregon, to running under the legendary University of Oregon coach, Bill Bowerman. Then advancing his running career in running the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Pre believed in testing the limits of the human heart with every race he ran throughout his career, and that's where I found my inspiration as a runner from then on.
With the inspiration I've obtained through watching "Without Limits" I began running on my own after coming home from practice, and began running harder in each workout the coach had us run. Then one day something remarkable happened, the distance squad was running an 800 repeat workout on a Tuesday afternoon. Through the first 2 reps I was running with the group of guys who I have ran with my entire high school career. During resting periods in between reps, I started to realize that I'm not running hard enough, and the guys running with me were getting winded. I told myself "Let's go harder, let's see what I've got". Then at the start of the next rep, I took off with the number 2 and 3 guys. I also figured out that they just weren't pushing the pace for me, so I passed them and advanced up to the number 1 guy who was only about 3 seconds ahead of him. The number 1 guy had set school records for the team, broken multiple course records, and was a regional champion, all of which subsequently landed him multiple newspaper articles written about his accomplishments. All the coaches began watching me as I continued to draft off the number 1 guy. Come the last lap of that 800 rep, I passed the number 1 guy and had a strong finish on that last lap. Everyone was in utter awe as everyone finished and started their resting period. We had one more rep, I was hurting going into the last rep, but I was ready to go. I felt a burning sensation, a fire within me that I have never felt before. The feeling to overcome anything and everything that was an obstacle, as though I was invincible. We started the last rep and I took off right to the front of the pack, then ultimately finished the last rep well ahead of my teammates. That day I gained recognition from the coaches that I have the potential to do great things in running. Which became true because my college career was nothing but success. I became a 2x All American, multiple conference champion in cross country and track. Set a number of school records. Broken multiple track records. Earned unanimous decision in 2013 KIAC Conference Male Athlete of the Year. My very first debut in the half marathon I ran 1:07.30, just 2 1/2 minutes shy of qualifying for the Olympic Trials.
|Born||1989 (age 31)|