HEBRON – As he walked away from the finish line, shoes in hand, Wilmington High School junior Simon Heys glanced up as another runner ran by him Saturday afternoon.
“I made the podium,” the runner screamed at the top of his lungs.
Heys took notice. Maybe something to consider in 2018?
“You just heard that kid screaming,” Heys said. “It’s exciting for anyone. Podium is my goal.”
On Saturday in the Division I OHSAA Boys Cross Country Championship race here at National Trail Raceway, Heys finished 134th out of 183 runners. His time was 17:17.2. Last week, Heys qualified for the state meet with a time of 16:19.
“I knew I was going to go out hard, but kinda drop back like I did at regionals,” he said. “When I dropped back I got trapped in the middle and I just couldn’t get out.”
And that wasn’t part of Heys’ race strategy.
“I was getting passed; I really couldn’t get a feel for it,” he said. “I felt sluggish. I knew after that first mile it would be hard to PR.”
Despite struggling, Heys believes he finished strong.
“It was definitely awesome at the end because I felt like I picked off a couple of guys, that made up a little bit for what I lost,” he said.
For his senior season, Heys plans to run plenty of miles in training and be that kid screaming at the end of the race.
“Next year, I’m taking so serious,” he said. “The atmosphere here is 100 times different than regionals. I guess I wasn’t really mentally as prepared as I thought I was but I’m not off by much. If I do my training right, I’ll have a chance at top 10. Podium is always my goal.”