Salute to seniors: Daniel Hileman

Name: David Hileman

School: Bucksport High School

What was your most memorable race/meet?

I would have to give it to the 2019 Seacoast Invitational, where we placed second overall and won a boys team plaque for the first time in many years. Our boys team is primarily underclassmen, and it was a huge accomplishment beating most of our Class C rivals and taking home an award. It was a huge confidence booster that really pushed us as a team to try and place higher later in the season.

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

I would have to give this to the guys from GSA down the road from us. There has always been one of their guys just ahead of me at some point that pushed me along to run harder. They have some great athletes there for sure.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest personal accomplishment would have to be placing 9th at my senior PVC XC championship or 4th in my senior PVC 3200m run. They might not seem like great accomplishments to many, but to me they were both huge confidence boosters and great ways to end off wonderful seasons. Huge accomplishments for me, considering how late I started running in high school and the background I came from.

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

I would for sure have taken my training far more seriously when I first started. I feel I never quite reached my full potential in high school and definitely regret not starting to train harder sooner.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I would say it was mental barriers, having confidence in myself and my abilities. All my junior year I was just shy of running with the top pack and being able to trust my training and run with that top group was a huge personal victory.

What will you miss the most?

I'll miss our Saturday donut runs for sure. Whenever we have Friday meets the day after Coach Jones always picks up a box of DD donuts for after our long recovery run. Eating donuts with your teammates after running is about the best it gets.

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

I would say to always run every race like it's your last. If I had known my indoor races were my last ones I feel I definitely would have poured myself into them a little bit more than I did. Never waste an opportunity to set a PR or meet a goal, you'll never know when those chances could be gone

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

Coach Jones has taught me a lot about hard work and perseverance, and has definitely made me a much tougher runner and person. He's also helped me to stop overthinking (which I tend to do) and just go out there and run.

How do you feel about missing your senior season due to the coronavirus?

It was crushing for sure. I was on the verge of some big marks for my senior year and missing the opportunity to hit those is painful for sure. However, the beauty of running is that it's a lifetime sport and I have the rest of my life to train and hit goals and push myself to my limits.

What are your college plans?

Currently the most likely plan is to go for an Associates Degree in digital graphic design at Eastern Maine Community College. It's close, practical, and affordable which checks all of my boxes, as well as gives me a creative outlet I can turn into a potential career. Of course there's lots of road races in my future too so I'm looking forward to training and going out there and going for it on my own now.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

Definitely Coach Jones, as well as my awesome teammates who gave me some incredible friendships and made all the hard work fun and worth it. I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for them. You guys are the best group of wacko's I could ask for.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I just want to say how thankful I am for the chance I had to run the past 3 years. Bucksport cross country certainly isn't winning any state titles or sweeping championships, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way than it was. Because in the end, it wasn't about the medals and plaques and wins. It was about the running family I was part of and the amazing experiences I had with a great team. I'm very thankful and blessed for the chances I had to enjoy this wonderful sport and look forward to whatever the future holds.

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