XC Watchlist: Jesse Southard - Gorham HS
Athlete Name: Jesse Southard
School: Gorham HS
Year of Graduation: 2016
2014 State Meet Finish: 6th in Class A State meet 16:30.66
How long have you been running and how did you get started?
I have only really been running for about three years now. I only participated in indoor track through middle school. I showed up to preseason before my freshman year of high school and just started running
Do you remember your first real race?
My first race was the Jack Wilkinson Memorial Race 3 years ago. It was particularly memorable to me because I had had a doctor's appointment in Portland and was hoping to make it back for the race. As we got closer to the listed start time it seemed like I wasn't getting any closer to the race, as I was stuck in traffic with my mom. I was sitting there and the time passed for the race to start so I told my mom it didn't matter anymore. She told me we will still go and you can just cheer on your teammates. As I got there I realized the race hadn't started so I ran across the field to the starting line and lined up with no warmup. I ended up winning the race and if it hadn't been for my mom I wouldn't have even showed up.
How is your summer training going?
This was the first summer I have really been able to focus on training for XC. In the past I have competed on a summer baseball team as well as my school's summer basketball team. This has been a huge help in allowing me to be able to get the miles I needed to get in.
Which meets will you be running in this year?
I will be running all my team's regular season meets. In addition we are going up to the Laliberte Invitational at Cony, the Woods Trail Run at Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vermont. I am also hoping to qualify for New Englands and I am also currently planning on registering for the Footlocker Northeast event.
Do you have a favorite course? What do you think is the toughest course in the state?
I really like the Vaughn Woods course, because it offers a challenge many courses don't. I'm also a fan of my home course which I am lucky enough to be able to run on twice this season. For me the hardest course would be the one at Thorton Academy. Not because the course is particularly challenging. It is because of the length in distance. It is a weird length that I am just not really used to running.
Out of all your running accomplishments so far, which stands out the most?
For me I think my most important running accomplishment would be that with my win on Thursday night, I completed the sweep of the Jack WIlkinson Invitational meet for the past 4 years.
What are your goals for the upcoming cross country season?
I always tend to set my goals really high and just keep striving for them. For this season I have really set my sights on a state title, as well as running the fastest time for a Maine runner on the season. I am also hoping to the other two Gorham XC school records that I do not have.
What do you love most about running?
Running gives me a chance to not worry about everything around me that is happening. It gives me a chance to challenge myself and everything I have, to push my limits. To only worry about what is in front of me.
Finish the sentence Jesse Southard is...
Jesse Southard is competitive. I am the most competitive person I know. I also want to give my everything and will always try to win no matter what it is.
Do you have a favorite quote?
"The biggest mistake an athlete can make is to be afraid of making one." -Ron Hubbard
Do you have any pre-race rituals or routines?
You will always see me squatting at the start line before the race with my head bowed. Not because I am super religious, but just to give me a chance to clear my mind. Post race though I always try and find my parents or siblings and thank them and then I head back to the finish line and I congratulate all the runners finishing.
What is your favorite food?
I love pretty much all food, but my favorite would have to be pizza. I have yet to find a pizza I haven't liked.
What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?
The last movie I watched was Remember the Titans, which I watch whenever I need motivation to do something.
What brand of shoes do you train/race in?
I train Brooks Ghost 7 and I race in Nike Victory XC 2 in Blue and Pink
What professional athlete would you like to meet the most?
I would love to meet Dustin Pedroia because I feel we have a lot in common with our firery competitiveness.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I spent most of the outdoor season running with a mostly separated shin muscle from my tibia.
Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?
Radio because I just love music, a hammock for just relaxing, and a lot of yogurt