There's not too many tenth-graders that had the type of year that Arlington High standout Ryan Oosting had in 2016-17. After a strong cross-country season, Oosting dominated on the track, particularly during the outdoor campaign when he won state titles in the mile and two mile and capped it off in splendid fashion by taking a national 5K title at the New Balance Nationals in mid June.
Now a junior, Oosting is looking to continue his recent success on the cross-country trails. MileSplit MA caught up with the Arlington star in its latest Q&A.
MIleSplit MA: You had a great sophomore year, one that got better and better with each passing season. What do you attribute your success to?
Ryan: I attribute my coaches, family, and friends to my success. My coaches are mentors to me and inspire me to be better every day. My family and friends support me no matter what and are always at meets which I truly appreciate.
MileSplit MA: How about the way you finished your year, winning a 5K title at the New Balance Nationals in June with a time of 14:36.13, a big-time PR! You also placed second in the two mile. What were your expectations going into that meet? Did you go into the meet with a goal of winning (the 5K)? Did you feel you were capable of running that fast?
Ryan: Going into that meet, my expectations were to become an all-American in the either 5k or 2-mile. Although I did not expect to win, my coach and I believed that if the race played out well, I could be in contention to win. We knew the winner was going to have to run fast so if I stuck with the leader/lead pack, the time would come. But in big meets like this, the place is more important than the time so my coach and I were more focused on the place.
MileSplit MA: My guess is the way you finished off your sophomore year with a national title as well as an individual state title in the mile and two mile, you have some big expectations for the cross-country season. What are your goals at the state level, and beyond? Do you have any time goals?
Ryan: For this cross-country season, my main goals are to place well at All-States and hopefully qualify for nationals the week after. And as for time, I am simply looking to improve on my 5k time from last year.
MileSplit MA: What does the season look like? Will you be competing in any out-of-state competition such as the Manhattan Invitational and the Great American X-C Festival to test your strength against some national-caliber runners?
Ryan: Right now, I am not planning to run in any out-of-state competitions. I am more focused on helping my team at Divisionals and All-States.
MileSplit MA: What is your favorite workout during the season and why?
Ryan: My favorite workout during the season is hill repetitions. We run up a small, yet extremely steep hill in Robbins Farm Park in Arlington a total of twenty times. It is one of the hardest workouts we do during cross-country but we are better because of it.
MileSplit MA: What is it that motivates Ryan Oosting?
Ryan: Strong competition and running fast motivate me. I really like to run against other guys who I don't always get to race like Andrew Mah, Ben Matejka, and Thomas Lingard.
MileSplit MA:Finally, what would you deem a successful cross-country season this fall?
Ryan: A successful cross-country season would include a winning season with my team, running strong races in the postseason, but above all, staying healthy.
Now some random questions...
MileSplit MA: Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Ryan: My favorite athlete is Evan Jager. I like him because he's a steepler and I think that steeplechase is a pretty sweet event.
MileSplit MA: What's your favorite food?
Ryan: My favorite food is cereal. I have it pretty much every morning and sometimes twice a day.
MileSplit MA: What's your favorite TV show? Movie?
Ryan: My favorite TV show is Breaking Bad and my favorite movies are the Star Wars movies.
MileSplit MA: If stranded on an island, what would be the one thing you would need to ease the insanity?
Ryan: If I were stranded on an island, I would need one of best friends with me. I really enjoy spending time with my friends so being stranded on an island with one of them would be a good time.