MOUNT VERNON — When people think of high school, they may not remember the tests they took or the books they read.
They will, however, remember the activities they joined and the memories made along the way.
Mount Vernon senior Jackson Meeker is going to have such memories because he joined the cross country and track teams.
Meeker started running at a very young age. His parents always loved running and convinced him to run, as well. In middle school, he began to run competitively in cross country and in track, igniting a spark that still burns today.
Meeker simply loves competition.
Since track has fewer people in a race, Meeker feels as if there is more pressure to run faster. He enjoys that over cross country, where there is less pressure, he said, to run fast.
Meeker did take a break from track during his freshman year to try golf, but soon realized track was the right sport for him.
“I don’t particularly enjoy running on my own,” Meeker said. “The competition at meets is what motivates me to run fast.”
Meeker firmly believes if running was not a competitive sport, he would not be doing it.
“The competitiveness is all part of the fun,” he said.
Meeker runs the 800 in track, with a personal best of 2 minutes, 3 seconds. He plans to run track in college to continue his career as a competitive runner.
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Although it is less of a competition, Meeker said cross country still is a great sport he has thoroughly enjoyed. He is happy with his times and the friends he made along the way.
With a personal 5K best of 17:32, Meeker said he is proud of his accomplishments and wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.
This year, the boys’ cross country team took its talent to state, placing 11th overall. Even though running cross country has been a part of his life since seventh grade, Meeker doesn’t think he will be running this sport in college.
Running clearly is something that has been a big part of Meeker’s life, and will probably continue to change him for the better in the future.
“My mom and dad are what got me into this, so I have them to thank for everything,” he said.
Meeker wouldn’t be the successful runner he is today without the motivation from his friends and teammates, or the support from his parents and family.
Meeker strongly thinks people who like to run should definitely join these two sports.
“To aspiring runners — work hard and be patient,” Meeker said. “The work you put in will show in the end.”