All I ever wanted from my high school athletic career was to be an all-state runner in cross country.
My sophomore year, our cross country team won the MHSAA Division 3 title at Michigan International Speedway, but we didn’t have any all-state runners! I was so excited because our top five consisted of four seniors and me. I was our number three runner, and placed 44th overall. It seemed like just the start of big things.
Track season was a blast that year, even though I didn’t qualify for the MHSAA Finals in any events. But when I got back into cross country in fall 2010, I really wanted to be all-state. (The top 30 individuals in each race receive the honor.)
I trained really hard, but I couldn’t get any faster than when I was a sophomore. In fact, I was running slower than I did the year before. I ended up placing 47th in my division at the MHSAA Finals. I was extremely disappointed. But, the season was over. I decided it was time to focus on track.
I ran all winter and attended a few indoor meets. The training paid off when the season started. I was running as fast as I did the year before, and I was able to make our 3200-meter relay team. I qualified for the MHSAA Division 3 Final only with my relay team, but we placed third – and I finally was all-state.
But I wanted more. I wanted to earn the honor by myself.
I ran nearly 500 miles over the summer to prepare for the 2011 cross country season. I ran faster than I ever had before. I thought I had all-state in the bag this year.
And again, I fell short. Again, I placed 47th at MIS.
Yes, I was very disappointed in myself again. But I learned that getting the all-state medal is not what is important. Having fun is what really matters. And throughout my career, I’ve had plenty.
That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to get all-state this spring. It just means that I am going to have more fun trying!
Travis Clous, Benzie Central senior
- Sports: Cross country, track and field, basketball
- Non-sports activities: Student section, pep band, marching band, concessions worker
Favorite classes: Band and AP biology
Must-see TV: "How I Met Your Mother"
- One shining moment: My sophomore year of cross country when we won the MHSAA Finals even though we did not have a single all-state runner.
- What’s next: I plan to attend either Hope College or Michigan State University to enter the pre-med field, but as of now. I am still undecided. I plan to run wherever I go, though.
- My favorite part of game day is: ... before the race, I listen to my Ipod. I usually listen to older music to get pumped. I also like to listen to Disney soundtracks; my favorite is the music from "Mulan." The songs usually get stuck in my head, and I end up singing them on the run. I feel like the music helps move me along.
PHOTO courtesy of Travis Clous (front), running at the MHSAA Division 3 Cross Country Final.