2020 Maine XC Watchlist: Calvin Cummings, Gorham HS

Notable Finishes: 3rd SM Classic F/S 2019, 6th SM Class A Regional 2019, 10th Class A States 2019, 76th New England Championship 2019

Comments: Cummings was one of the most improved runners in the state last fall. As a freshman, he finished 76th at the Class A state meet, while last fall he placed 10th at states and 76th in New England. Calvin showed he's ready to compete with the top runners, and a top-five finish is in his sights this fall.

How has COVID-19 affected you?

COVID-19 has affected me in many ways, some for the worse, but also some for the better. Like everyone else, I haven't been able to do a ton of stuff I normally would have, such as seeing some of my friends and family I normally would've seen. We also had our outdoor season canceled, which was a big letdown considering I had some big goals. I also missed out on running the Beach to Beacon; my favorite race. However, I've had a lot more time to focus on myself, and I think I've become a stronger person these past few months.

What has your summer training consisted of? How much mileage are you putting in?

My summer training has consisted of a variety of different things, but I started off the summer doing less mileage and more easy runs. I've been progressing to harder workouts as the preseason gets closer. I ended up biking more than I thought I would've, which I think has been good for me. As for mileage, I started off doing around 30-40 miles a week, but have been gradually moving it up, and have reached 50 miles a few times these past few weeks.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

I have a few goals for the upcoming season so far. I'd like to get under 16 minutes for the 5k, which would be a school record. I'd also like to place top 5 at states this year assuming we have it, and potentially make it to New England's as a team if we can

What is your favorite workout that makes you feel most prepared for success?

For my favorite workouts, I have a tie between tempo runs and mile repeats for first. Crushing these hard workouts feels really good, and makes me feel ready for the season and success

What did you learn from the last xc season that will help you improve in 2020?

I learned a few things last year that I feel will be really beneficial to me this year. One of them mostly applies to bigger meets, mostly in the postseason. This advice is to get out fast and in the front of the pack because it can seriously make or break the race. I figured this out after not getting out fast enough at New England's, and placing further back than I feel I could've. Another thing I've learned that should help me this season is that I can go faster and push myself more than I think I can.

How is your team looking for the fall?

So far I think that my team is looking good for the fall, we have a really strong top 3-4 who have been working hard, and so how our season goes really depends on if anyone can step up and put in the work as our 5th runner. Having a solid top 5 will put us in a good position to do really well this year.

How do you stay motivated when you don't want to run?

Staying motivated can be hard for me sometimes, and so finding something to motivate me is really important. I think that a ton of motivation comes from competition, both on my team and off. Having teammates to run with and push me is great, and really helps me. Wanting to see our team do well also motivates me, and not running makes me feel like I'm letting them down, so I use that as motivation too.

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

I think that the greatest piece of advice I've received in this sport is to never doubt myself and what I can do. Having self-confidence is super important not only in running but in life too. It's super important to trust all of the hard work you've put in if you want to succeed, and this is why I feel like this is the best advice I've received.

What are the top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?

Injury prevention is really important as a runner and so there are a few things I do to prevent myself from getting hurt. One thing I do is to try and either do a cross-training day or take a day off once a week. Another thing I do is stretch before running and roll afterward, most people already do this, but it's often overlooked even though it's super important. The third thing I do is to not overuse anything, and if I feel like a certain part of my leg is super tight I try and stretch/roll it more or take it easy the next day.

What is the one thing you have done during COVID-19 that you have never had time for in the past?

One thing I've done that I've never had time for before would be to start working out/ going to the gym more. This was something that was harder to do during school and indoor track, but now I have more free time, and so I've been doing that.

What's the farthest you've ever run at one time?

The furthest I've ever run at once is 13.1 mile, so a half marathon. I did this in the spring in Biddeford with another runner in my grade.

If every day were a holiday, what would yours be?

If every day was a holiday, I think I'd want it to be Christmas or the 4th of July.

Favorite subject in school?

Science is probably my favorite subject.

If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

The person I'd want to go running with would be Sir Roger Bannister, who was the first person to sub 4 in the mile. I'd ask him what it was like, and talk to him about the kind of training he did back then.

If your teammates gave you a superlative, what would it be?

I asked my teammates and the superlatives they picked we're cleverest and bravest.