Placing high in individual cross country meets is not what the sport is about, according to a senior CSAC All-Academic Honoree cross-country runner.
“No particular moment, like we won the CSAC,” Jeff Young said. “It’s more enjoying running and the whole togetherness of the different groups I’ve been a part of these last three years.”
Passion is something that describes his lifestyle, whether he is cheering for a favorite sports team, running or staying close with his family. Young loves what he does on and off the trail.
“Jeff is really dedicated,” junior Jenay Smith said. “He always comes to workouts, even if he doesn’t he is working out on his own.”
Earlier in the season Jeff passed out while running at the Belmont meet–one of the tougher courses to run. He came back and claimed third place overall, compared to division two runners, with a time of 30:08.19.
“That says a lot about him,” Smith said, “that he came back and finished on Belmont which is not an easy course at all.”
“Academics come first,” Young said. “I’m looking into different types of grad school programs, and continuing my education.”
Looking ahead as a political science major, Young is looking for a career in either sports management or political science related.
Support of his family is something Young cherishes and means a lot to him as a student athlete.
“I’m very close with my family,” Young said. “My parents have been very supportive, my whole life and with my athletics career, they try to make it to every meet I run, whether it’s 20 minutes, an hour and a half, or two hours away.”
Seventh grade at St. Eleanor was the first time Young ran cross country. He played soccer at the same time.
“We would be going to the soccer game and then rushing off to get to the cross country meet on Saturdays,” Young said.
“It’s very relaxing,” Young said, “whether it be practice or for leisure. In a race maybe, I might think I have to run a fast time here, and I may think of a saying like finish strong, finish strong, finish strong, and nothing else.”
The proudest moment of Young’s career isn’t his individual achievements; it’s really seeing his teammates succeed.
“Seeing my teammates succeed,” Young said. “Both on the men’s and women’s team, and seeing how hard they push themselves in practice, and when they place high in big meets.” Young said. “Also watching the progression of my two good friends Brian Sugden and Mike Palatano, just seeing them work hard to get better and grow as runners.”
Young intends to continue running after college and do trail races which are not as formal as a collegiate meets, but they are run by different organizations that are challenging to help him develop as a runner. “I can’t imagine my life without running. It’s a real passion.”