Salute to Seniors: Jeff Waters (Massabesic HS)

Name: Jeffery Waters

School: Massabesic High School


What was your most memorable race/meet? 

My most memorable race would probably have been the day I broke 5 minutes in the 1600. It was at Noble High School, and I had been trying for it all year. My sister had decided to come watch, and was so excited when I crossed the line. It was a special moment and race for me, and I'll never forget it.


Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

My biggest competition would probably be myself. Over my four years, I've constantly been changing my pace, which has lead me to focus mostly on beating myself. A small shout out to almost the entire Class of 2020 for dominating races though. So many names from so many teams, I couldn't say one biggest competitor.


What was your greatest accomplishment?

I think my greatest accomplishment is that I made it this far. My freshman year I was far from a decent runner, and I had to push myself a lot to become the runner I am today. There were days I wanted to give up and quit, but somehow I've stuck to it and haven't given up on this great sport.


If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school?

If I could change one thing, I would go back and do Indoor Track my freshman year. There were some technical difficulties with me signing up, so I just gave up on trying to join. I think that was a missed season that I now wish I had had.


What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I have had two major developments in my running that have been the biggest obstacles for me. The first was when I sprained my ankle at the Manchester Invitational, and getting back up from that was a bit of a challenge. Then there has been my abdominal pain that has been causing me issues for the past year. It started, as some may remember, on the Massabesic Track May of 2018. I had been racing in the 3200 when I collapsed in pain. That day it was determined to be an abdominal tear and was not looked too far into after. By the indoor season, I began to realize that there was something more. After multiple tests and days of pain that would often pull me from races, I was diagnosed officially with a metabolic processing disorder. Essentially, my liver can not break down certain byproducts from my blood-which itself breaks down at a rapid rate. This would probably be my largest obstacle. 


What will you miss the most?

What I will miss most will honestly be the meet days where I would be able to have fun while also panicking out of my mind. Cheering on the teams and racing are a lot of fun to me, and it's too bad I'll have to say goodbye to it-at least for the teams and runners I have known for the past 4 years.


What advice you would give to younger athletes?

Running requires the heart to run and race. For the younger athletes, I would say that no matter the outcome of any race, to always get back and try for more. It may not be today that you run your best race, or even tomorrow, but as long as you put the effort in and try your best, you can do things you could never imagine possible. Also-drink water, no matter how much you don't want to.


What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

I want to say specifically of my cross country coaches from the past 4 years. Coach Hesler was a large part in me being able to focus and strive for what I can. He taught me how to push myself and give effort in my races. He was always there to tell me to keep going, and he sparked a lot of the commitment to running that I have today. He has always been committed to his athletes. Even willing to bike down the path of the runs to meet up with all of his runners. Coach Crepeau helped me even when I was not as good of a runner. He's what sparked me to focus on my form and taught me that persistence can lead to betterment of one's self. And he showed me how to take note of details. I still remember the days where Crepeau would run beside me and give me tips, or show me the best path to take for a cross country meet. I know that I will continue to take detail because of his guidance. Then there is Coach Blair, who stepped up for the team when we had a need for a new coach. She showed me that even when things are new, there is always a way to get things done. For running, it showed me that even when there is a new course or a different race set up, I could do well because there is a way to finish the race. In life, no matter what's going on, there is always an answer to the problem. These three have put a lot of influence on my running and life.


What are your college plans?

My plan is to attend the University of New England and hope to double major in Neuroscience and Medical Biology. 


Who would you like to say thank you to?

The following is going to be a list of thank-yous for those who have been influential in my running and life:

First off, my coaches, for the reasons listed above. Then, to my best friend who I have run with and has pushed me every day, Jake. I could never replace him or his support. The many days where we would push each other and make sure that neither of us would give up. He always believed in me, and I tried to let him know that I always believe in him. I would like to thank my parents as well, who have always told me how to do my best and have been my greatest supporters. No matter how many long days or issues that life threw at me, my parents were always by my side. I could always hear my mom shouting for me across the track, whether I was in the front or very back. Next, I would like to thank the others not listed by name who have also supported me each and every day. My friends and family who have been caring and supportive in every event and every day of running and life as it is. Finally, I would like to specifically thank my sister Angel. She is who got me into running and has pushed me to never stop. Through her, I learned to believe in myself. Her running is what gave me proof that if I tried hard enough, I could be like her and be an amazing runner and person. She has been such a role model for me, and for that I am so thankful.


Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Always remember, rain or shine, "It's a beautiful day to run."-Coach Hesler

Personal Records High School
400 Meter Dash1:02.70
800 Meter Run2:15.69
1600 Meter Run4:32.81
3200 Meter Run9:59.79
600 Yard Run1:25.88
800 Meter Run2:13.75
One Mile Run4:40.09
Two Mile Run10:11.45
2400 Meter Run7:36.00
Three Mile Run19:41.00
5000 Meter Run16:06.50