Salute to Seniors: Dylan Fritz

When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races?
I started running in 8th grade, I remember struggling to run for 10 minutes but still finding enjoyment in being with my friends

Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
My freshman year our cross country team wasn't very good, but I was able to make varsity on it. I ended up running the districts race my freshman year and getting last in it, and Ultimately made it my goal to get better and better every year and get as far up in the pact as possible

What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?
I've faced a lot of injuries during my career, but I always try to deal with them in the smartest most effective way possible. My senior year I sprained my sartorius muscle and had to miss the meet right before COC, which was really upsetting, but it ultimately led to me getting healthier so I could run COC and then PR at the districts meet

How did COVID impact your training as you prepared for the season?
It made getting out to get my runs in a lot harder, I had to run alone frequently, which took a lot of the fun out of it. I kept running though it all though, around my neighborhood and on the treadmill frequently, until it was safe to meet together and run with my friends again, which brought back the fun and life into running

Where are you going to college? If you have already committed, what made you choose them?
I have committed to the Missouri University of Science and Technology for Engineering Management and signed to run Division 2 Cross Country and Track for their program which is a part of the GLVC, great lakes valley conference. What made me choose this college is the great campus atmosphere, the rigorous academic challenge that I am excited to pursue at a college of such difficulty, and the opportunity to continue running collegiately. I can't wait to challenge myself not only physically in Cross Country and Track but mentally in the difficult classes required for an engineering management degree at Missouri S&T

Let's discuss the college searching process. What was that like, and what schools did you look at?
I didn't look at too many schools because I had my heart set on s&t, I glanced around at Virginia tech and the air force academy, but quickly decided s&t was the Home for me, I loved how it wasn't terribly far from home, I loved the campus environment, I loved the coaching staff, and I can't wait to be a Miner

Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?
I've always liked long jump and pole vault, but I've never had the time to put any focus into them because distance running takes up so much time, but I think those would be fun to be good at, the 200 also seems fun, running for 23 seconds instead of 10 minutes would be a different change of pace

What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?
I was on my high schools bowling team, math team, robotics team, raider team, as well as a part of the varsity choir, JROTC program, and speech and debate. I've always loved public speaking, giving motivation speeches is something I've been into for a long time, and giving a graduation speech at my high school is one of my most proud achievements.

Who is your role model, and why?
My celebrity role model has always been Sylvester Stallone and Steve Prefontaine, I love their never quit mentalities, and how dedicated they are to everything they do, and how much they've succeeded at it. I'm also inspired by both my coaches, Coach Cristy and Coach Furtkamp, for always helping me not only in running but also in my life, and making me a better man and person than I was before meeting them

Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of things on your list!
I want to start my own business, run a sub 15 minute 5k, and make 6 figures a year. I also want to be able to start a family one day, and raise kids of my own

What is the best advice you have received?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Unknown

What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
I eat the same pretzel bites before every single meet, there was 1 meet I forgot them and I ran really bad and I still fully believe it was because I forgot the pretzels. I also step out in front of the line and jump as high as I can before every single race I do, and I always pray before every single race, I also lead a team huddle before every meet my senior year which was one of my favorite parts of meet days

If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why?
Football, I have always loved watching football, and still believe I'd be an amazing nickel corner, but I never got the opportunity to try. If I ever get the chance to play recreational football maybe I'll use that opportunity to prove my skills

Any Final Shout outs?
Shout out to Logan Reichert, Elijah Cook, and Nathan Bohannon, we 4 made the "original 4" (we were the only 4 seniors to run all 6 years of cross country) it wouldn't have been as fun without them, they'll be my lifelong best friends and I am so happy I met them. Also shout outs to next year's state champ Gabe Bauer for being an amazing running partner for the back half of my high school career, I know he's gonna do amazing things with his senior year, and watch out for his name on the top of a lot of meet results sheets