Slippery Rock University men’s freshman cross-country runner Jeremy Parsons is prepared to have a successful first season at the Rock.
Parsons is from Titusville, Pennsylvania and was involved with cross-country, track and wrestling at Maplewood High School. He proved to be a strong runner for his team when he placed fifth at the state meet in his junior year of cross-country. The following year, Parsons improved his performance and placed second at the state meet. His success carried over into track season, when he qualified for states in his junior year in the 3200-meter race and finished sixth in the 1600-meter race the following year as a senior. Parsons also proved to be successful in wrestling when he reached his ‘100 wins’ mark.
“I think I realized that I like running in the fifth grade, when I set the school record for the mile,” Parsons said. “After that, my teacher suggested the sport to me and I’ve ran ever since.”
Parsons said that his father and older brother were both runners which got him even more interested in the sport. As an athletic training major at the Rock, Parsons came for his interest in the major and running on the team was a bonus.
“I have definitely gotten a lot more serious about my training since joining the team,” Parsons said. “I’ve also just about doubled my mileage to train for the longer races.”
The men’s cross-country team races 8000-meters to 10000-meters races, depending on the meet.
Compared to running a 5000 meter-race in high school, the 3000-meter difference is something that is hard to get used to for Parsons.
“I didn’t know what to expect running my first 8000-meter race this season, so I didn’t know what time to aim for, but now I think that I know where I need to be,” Parsons said. Parsons said that his success in high school and also winning his first collegiate race are among his favorite accomplishments as a runner. In the first race of the season, Parsons came in first place with a time of 26:08.
“I’d like to break into 25 minutes by the end of the season and continue to be a top runner for the team,” Parsons said. “Being that I’m a freshman, I don’t really know what else to expect for the meets to come.” Parsons said that a Steve Prefontaine quote was among one of his favorites to get him motivated. The quote says, “You have to wonder at times what you are doing out there. Over the years I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started, it comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”
Parsons, along with the rest of the SRU men’s and women’s cross-country teams will be racing at the Don Cathcart Invitational this Saturday in Salisbury, Maryland, where he hopes to continue his success from the start of the season.