Tate Carden remembers when he made the decision to give cross country a try.
Would he enjoy the sport? Could he be good at it?
Now three years later, the answers are an astounding yes.
Carden found his niche on the cross country trails, leading the way for an Athens High program that is on the rise.
Carden has emerged as one of the top high school cross country runners in Class 5A, and he is gaining steam just in time for the Alabama High School Athletic Association state championships, which will be held Saturday at Oakville Indian Mounds. Carden finished first as an individual at the Section 5 meet in Florence, helping Athens finish second as a team.
Carden met with Decatur Daily sports writer Justin Graves on Monday to answer five questions:
Question: You qualified for the state meet as a sophomore last season, but this year you have consistently challenged some of the state's best runners. Has this been your breakout season?
Answer: Yes and no. Last year was my biggest improvement, but this year I've shaved 30 seconds off my personal best (time) by focusing on fundamentals and training. By doing that, I'm learning how to maximize my potential.
Q: Being good at cross country doesn't happen quickly. How much personal time do you sacrifice for cross country?
A: It takes up a lot of time. A whole lot of time. I log about 50 miles every week, and to be successful, you have to train year round.
Q: There is a lot of quiet time when you're on the trails running. Does your mind ever wander?
A: All time time. When I'm out running, I'm usually thinking about grades and worrying about school. For some reason, those things always pop into my mind.
Q: What was your best race of the season?
A: Probably last week (at the Section 5) meet. It wasn't my best time, but I felt like it was my best race. Hopefully I can follow it up with another good race this week (at the state meet).
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of running?
A: I play a lot of disc golf, and I also like to play paintball. Those are probably my favorite hobbies.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|