Name: Jarrett Gulden
What was your most memorable race/meet?
I will never forget both Mt. Blue Relays I went to. The race itself was never particularly fast for me, but our record breaking Wall of Sound in 2019 (I can still hear the rumbles echo in my sleep), and the epic game of Duck Duck Goose always remind me of why I enjoy this sport and the running community.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Sam Russ. Not only was he my best competition, but he was my best training partner. I didn't become super competitive with Sam until my junior year, but during that year we really pushed each other in practices and meets. Anytime I wasn't feeling great, I could always count on Sam either destroying me or forcing me out of whatever rut I was in. I am blessed to have a teammate like that.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Quadrupling at outdoor KVACs in 2019 (that's the 4 x 800, the 1600, the 800, and the 3200) and being the top scoring athlete at the meet.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school?
Nothing. There were certainly moments I don't want to relive, but for the most part those bad races, practices, and injuries made me the runner I am right now.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I was lucky to be injury free for the majority of high school, however, this winter and early spring I had issues with my IT band which led to a lot of pain on the outside of my right knee. The hardest part for me was taking a step back and pausing my running training. It was all in all about 3 months before it went away and there was nothing I wanted more than to run my past mileage, but I had to hold back and be smart about not overtraining.
What will you miss the most?
Obviously I will miss the team. Not only was I raised as a runner on LAXC, but most of my friends run as well, so it has really been the center of my high school journey.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Your coaches will say it endlessly, but maybe if you hear it from another athlete you'll feel inspired.Do the little things. On top of running, do the hip strength, the general strength, the weights, the core, the stretching, the rolling, whatever it may be, just do the little things that will not only keep you injury free, but make you a better runner.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Freshman year I specifically remember Festival of Champions and Boo screaming at me to "stop looking at my watch." Ever since then, I have done nothing but exclusively look at my watch. The secret to almost every race I've run is seeing Boo, giving a big smile, looking at my watch (or just my wrist which he really likes), and then dropping the pace like a madman. I honestly don't know if this would work with any other coach, but Boo always gets that last bit of energy out of me and I thank him for it. I wouldn't be the person I am today without Boo's very intelligent, almost too intelligent, coaching and for the LAXC team, we wouldn't be the team we are without Boo and his deep passion for the team community. As for life goals, after he destroyed me in the first Backyard Runathon this year, I want nothing more than to come back next year and return the favor.
How do you feel about missing your senior season due to the coronavirus?
Obviously I was a little bummed, but without the season I had time to heal my leg and get in more than a month of extra summer training, so I see it as an excellent opportunity and a much needed break.
What are your college plans? I will study engineering at WPI and run cross country/track there as well.
Who would you like to say thank you to? The boys (you know who you are).