Runners share what it’s like to compete at States

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Runners share what it’s like to compete at States

Isaac Swanson and Jeremiah Vezza wait at the starting line for the big race.

Isaac Swanson and Jeremiah Vezza wait at the starting line for the big race.

Isaac Swanson and Jeremiah Vezza wait at the starting line for the big race.

Isaac Swanson and Jeremiah Vezza wait at the starting line for the big race.

Trevor Franek, Staff Writer

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On Saturday, November 3, the PIAA Cross Country State Championships were held, and two of our very own athletes triumphed and earned the opportunity to run in this race. Isaac Swanson and Jeremiah Vezza both qualified at Districts to run at the State course in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  

Jeremiah mentioned that to prepare for the big race he simply woke up, ate breakfast, relaxed, and warmed up when it was time for action, and Isaac had a similar method of relaxing, warming up, trusting in all the hard work he put in, and remembering the reason why he runs cross country.  

Neither runner seemed to be satisfied with their performances, however. “I feel that my performance at States wasn’t the hottest run that I have ever done in cross-country; like my finishing time could have been improved by a minute or two,” commented Isaac. “I think my performance at States was ok overall because I did well racing, from jumping over Isaac to getting around other runners,” said Jeremiah.   

Looking back on the race the runners both have things they wish they could have done differently. “If I could change one thing about States, it would probably be to not fall on a pile of kids in the first 300 yards of the race and get stepped on or get to bed earlier the night before,” said Isaac. Jeremiah said, “I would have told Isaac to stay behind me so he wouldn’t have been tripped,” as it seems Isaac falling immediately was a detrimental occurrence.  

Being with the best of the best in the entire state comes with its intense pressure factors but owning that pressure is part of the game. “Being among the ‘Running Gods of PA’ was insanely intimidating and even a little terrifying but knowing that I was able to make it there in the first place was enough to boost both my morale and confidence,which I needed,” said Isaac. Jeremiah also said, “It was kind of surreal being able to run with the best. But it was also a great moment to realize I’d earned that moment. And that I was one of the best that I could race with the best.” Both runners owned that pressure and took confidence from it.  

Going to an event such as States comes with its perks, as well, as the runners said they went a bunch of different places. They said they went to Spanky’s, Texas Road House, Sheetz, an Outlet Mall, Hershey’s Chocolate World, and the course the day before the race to scout it out. The food is paid for by the Booster Club as well so it’s worth the trip to States.  

They couldn’t have gotten to where they are alone, though; every runner needs inspiration. “My family, friends, teammates, coach, and even myself by being by my side through win or loss and by pushing me in practice when I felt like I couldn’t work any harder and give me the strength to push onward through friendly competition,” said Isaac. Jeremiah keeps it short and sweet and says, “Every person who has beaten me has inspired me.”  

Finally, every trip has its most memorable moment. Isaac says, “What I remember about States the most was when Jeremiah and I were writing messages to the coaches by slipping paper from my Psychology notebook under their door, asking if they wanted to play cards.” Jeremiah said that jumping over the giant group of runners, including Isaac, at the beginning was the most memorable part of his States trip.

Both runners had a good trip to States, and it will certainly always be a memorable experience for both of them.

Trevor Franek, Staff Writer

I'm an avid runner in both cross country and track, and I enjoy playing Magic The Gathering.

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Runners share what it’s like to compete at States