Cross Country Captain Ben Jamison Talks About His Team’s Culture and More in Q&A

Seniors Ben Jamison and Alex Baker running in a cross country meet at McNair Park.

Seniors Ben Jamison and Alex Baker running in a cross country meet at McNair Park.

By Patty O'Leary

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Q: Looking forward, how do you hope this season will go for your team?

A: “For the team, I just want to help all of us meet our goals and to push the younger guys to set higher goals and then come as close as they can or beat those goals.”

Q: What is it like being a team captain this year?

A: “It’s really cool, especially because this is only my second year. I wasn’t expecting this joining the team but with all the seniors leaving last year, we only had one returning varsity runner so the team is looking looking a lot different for this year. It’s a great opportunity to influence the culture of the team and be able to change some things up.”

Q: What challenges have you faced this season so far?

A: “As a team the challenge was having enough people that were actually running at the varsity level. We had enough people but there wasn’t enough that were fast enough to compete at the varsity level, but we’ve had a few guys that have overcame that and saw that there was open spots on varsity so they really stepped up how they were running and are looking really good.”

Q: What is the culture you are trying to create this season?

A: “I want to create an enjoyable atmosphere where people are having a good time and the main thing is that I want people to be able to succeed for their own personal goals.”

Q: How is the culture this year different than last year’s?

A: “I think last year we focused a lot on team success and that’s great, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I really want to focus, on from top to bottom, everyone meeting the goal they want to meet.”

Q: What are some traditions the team is continuing this year?

A: “We do pasta dinners before every meet. We’ll go to Pasta House, Fazoli’s or sometimes just people’s houses and we’ll all have pasta the night before a meet. We also have the Knight award which is awarded to someone each week and it’s given to the hardest worker, someone who’s going beyond what they’re asked to do.”

Q: How do you prepare for meets?

A: “A big thing for me is getting into a state of mind of knowing what my goal is, even like a week ahead, just thinking about what I’m going to do so that whenever I get to that race I still have that strong mindset.”

Q: Are you more so excited or nervous before meets?

A: “Mostly I’m excited, I’m kind of curious to see where I’m at. I’ve only ever ran one varsity meet before and I was way in the back because I thought that I wasn’t really supposed to be there because I was filling someone’s spot but I was still able to compete. Now going into it knowing that i can compete at that level it’s be a much different experience.”


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