Mitch Negus: Mansfield High School
What do you enjoy doing outside of your running?
It’s hard to say, mostly because running takes up so much of my time (not that that’s a bad thing) but I really like spending time with my friends and just hanging out. I also had a lot of fun and learned a lot this past year as I worked on my Eagle Scout Project, but that took a lot of time too.
Definitely all of the people who I got to be around all the time, teammates and coaches. After training for three years with the same core group of guys almost every day, we really were almost family. We’d been through races, workouts, and shared some awesome memories. Also, my Coaches, especially Coach Collins, who put in so much work every day to get us to be the best we could be.
My most memorable race was the 2010 Division 2 Cross Country Championship at Franklin Park. I remember coming out of the wilderness loop and seeing Coach Collins cheering and telling me I was in 9th place. I had no clue how I had moved up that far in the group, and I don’t think I’d ever heard Coach cheer so happily during a race before. Then our team won the team title making it a full group effort.
Out of all your high school running accomplishments, what stands out the most?
Probably breaking 10 minutes in the 2 mile. After coming within less than a second of it junior year (I ran 10:00.92), I was on a mission. I finally got under during our League Meet Indoors where I went 9:55. It didn’t even feel that difficult when I did it, but more just a relief because it was this barrier that I hadn’t been able to get past.
They say that running is all mental and I completely agree. My most difficult obstacle came from myself. After suffering from a bout of heat exhaustion during All-States in 2010 and barely being able to finish, I think I became reluctant to test my limits. It took me almost a full year to completely get over it and start “racing” again.
First of all, fall in love with running. It makes it so much easier if you enjoy what you’re doing. Whether it’s freezing cold, blistering heat, or pouring out, if you take it like a challenge and embrace it, running will become the greatest part of your life. Second, work hard every day. I used to be really unathletic before I started running, but I tried to put everything forward every day. Before I knew it, I was running with all the top guys on our squad. You can do it too.
If you were to change anything about your high school running career.....what would you change?
I probably would have tried to do more speed stuff. Towards the end of senior year I found myself getting faster in the shorter distances which I’d never really focused on before. I also found out how fun it is to race fast.
I’m going to go on to UMass Amherst in the fall. I’m hoping to study physics there while also running Cross Country and Track.
Coach Collins, for all her time spent every day training our team. Without her guidance, I am sure I never would have made it anywhere in track or learned so much about running, and our team as a whole would not have been so successful. Also my parents, for being so supportive all along even though distance running was completely new to them.