Featured Athlete: Luke Small

Grade: 12 | Sport: Cross Country


Participating on the Redhawk Cross Country team for the last four years, senior Luke Small appreciates the sport for it is something he can look forward to in the morning.

Wingspan: What is the best part of cross country?

Small: “The best part of cross country is watching yourself and your teammates improve. I think it’s really special when you can see another runner start at one point, and slowly work their way up to a faster time.”

Wingspan: What is your exercise routine?

Small: “For a typical week, we usually start with a long run on monday, then do recovery on tuesday, tempo or hills on wednesday, recovery on thursday, and then a shakeout run and ice baths on friday followed by a Saturday meet.”

Wingspan: Do you have a pre-run ritual?

Small: “My pre-run ritual at a meet is usually to start out by jogging the course at a very easy pace, then I lay down and get off of my feet for a short amount of time before warming up and starting the race. “

Wingspan: How has cross country impacted your personal life?

Small: “Cross country has impacted my personal life by giving me something to be happy about at all times. Sometimes you have a really fun weekend, but on Sunday night you dread going to school the next day, but for me, I just look forward to the long run that next morning and it makes me happy. It also puts me in such a great mood all day when we have a perfect run on a beautiful morning when the sun is rising and birds are chirping. It just really makes it fun to workout with these guys and a good workout fills my day with positivity.”

Wingspan: Do you do anything special for training for runs?

Small: “For a regular day of training, I wake up, stretch everything out, then work out tight muscles with a foam roller before practice. After our practices, I usually come home and do more rolling, stretching, and trying to replenish the muscles.”

Wingspan: How has cross country changed your school life?

Small: “Cross country has changed my school life because it has really helped me always have a group of people that I can lean on any time something isn’t going well. I also love the way that the sport has helped me stay in shape and always have something to look forward to.”

Wingspan: Do you have any tips for aspiring athletes?

Small: “If you want to become an athlete, pick something you want to do and stick with it. So many people say that they want to be great in something and don’t put any work or dedication into it. Try your best to discipline yourself, work hard, and put plenty of time and effort into it.”