Salute to Seniors : Stephen Mugeche

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What was your most memorable race/meet?

My most memorable meet is definitely the state cross country meet where I was fortunate enough to win. It was my goal since freshman year to be a state champion in cross country and I came so close as a junior, but I wasn’t satisfied. I toed the line as a senior feeling strong and determined to achieve my goal and I took it with a different approach then I did my junior year and thankfully, I was able to win. I will never forget the emotional high I got after I crossed the finish line. It was unlike anything I have ever felt before.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most?

I think my 8:58 3200 at Arcadia my junior year stands out the most because not a lot of high school athletes run under 9 minutes.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was getting injured and not being able to finish my senior track season. I had a lot of goals this year for the state meet and I was working very hard so I could achieve them at the state meet. As a junior, I realized that my team had a good chance at winning the state meet and I wanted to run as hard as I could to score as many as points as I could, so I ran 4 events, 4x800,800,1600 and the 3200. I was very tired, but satisfied that we were able to win as a team. This year I was given the opportunity to run fewer races so I could focus on quality instead of just scoring points for the team. I really wanted to go after the win and state record in the 3200 this year and I felt like I had a good shot at it since my training was going well. But when I injured myself during a 4x400 during the Clayton meet and the doctors told me they didn’t think I would be ready to run districts, I was devastated. I realized that I had a great opportunity to do something special and it just slipped away because of an injury I couldn’t properly recover from in time.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?

My advice for younger athletes is to take every opportunity you have and make the most of it. I didn’t have the best state track meet my junior year but I kept telling myself “Its ok I have one more year” but the truth is, anything can happen. I never would have thought an injury would keep me for the majority of my last track season, but it did. Do your best to achieve your goals with every race you run, because you never know if you’ll get another opportunity.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss my teammates and coaches so much. I will also miss the great athletes I’ve been able to compete against these past few years.

What are your college plans?

I will be attending and running for the University Of Arkansas.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

I would like to thank God for giving me the ability to run and the motivation to work hard every day to achieve my goals. Running is a very important part of my life and at first I looked at it just a sport, but now, I see it as a lifestyle that has taken me so far in life, and I will never take it for granted. I would also like to thank my parents and siblings for supporting me all these years and traveling to most of my meets. I would like to thank anyone who works on the momilesplit site and constantly keeps it up to date, Greg Hall for attending so many meets and taking thousands of pictures of many different athletes, Bill Althaus for being a great interviewer and friend of mine these past few years. And Lastly, I would like to thank Coach Frank Gallick and Brian Curp for being with me every step of the way and turning me into the runner I am today. At times they have had more faith in me than I’ve had in myself and they are the reason why I’ve come this far.