CEDAR RAPIDS — Reaching new heights is a goal of any athlete and Cedar Rapids Xavier senior Jack Renning is no exception.
Renning has been a top performer for the boys’ cross country team this fall, racing to numerous Top 10 finishes. He heads into today’s Class 3A state qualifying meet at Independence ranked among the best in the state, a height he still is getting used to.
“It feels weird knowing there are all of these guys in 3A and I am one of the fastest ones,” Renning said.
Renning put in a lot of work in the offseason and has continued to push himself throughout the season.
“I train for races by going to practice, doing long runs and short sprints,” Renning said. “Afterward, I will go lift in the weight room.”
Saints Coach Nathan Hopp has pushed Renning all four years of high school to improve and values him as a runner and a teammate.
“Jack provides a great example for his teammates to follow at meets and practices,” Hopp said. “I have been very impressed with his maturity and ability to encourage his teammates, especially the underclassmen.”
Hopp has high hope for Renning today.
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“I hope he can qualify for the state meet again, which would be his fourth time doing so,” Hopp said. “Not too many athletes can say they have participated in state all four years. If Jack qualifies, he will be the first boy from Xavier to go to state all four years.”
For Renning, the goal is the same. He hopes to make these goals a reality.
“A personal goal for me is to run in 16:30 or below and place anywhere in the top 25,” Renning said. “I hope the whole team qualifies as well.”
Renning is excited to see how this year turns out and wants to leave a legacy for future runners to follow.
“I hope to be remembered by my hard work and dedication,” Renning said. “I hope future runners can keep the tradition of excellence going.”