Lakeshore sophomore Race Bettich is still an underclassman for the Lancers’ cross country team, but you could hardly tell by looking at his performances this season.
Bettich has placed in the top five overall in each of the Lancers’ first five meets, including a win at the Sept. 7 Centreville Invitational and a season-best time, 17:01.20, at the Shamrock Invitational just two days earlier.
Each of Bettich’s finishing times this season have been below the 18-minute mark, with most coming between 17 flat and 17:30.
“Race is simply determined,” Lakeshore boys cross country coach Gregg Buschlen said. “He runs determined, studies determined and leads determined. Teammates appreciate his work ethic and positive attitude.
“He makes everyone else a better runner on our team because of his determination and grit. As good of an athlete as he is, he is equally or better an outstanding young man.”
Bettich’s personal best time came last season, a speedy 16:52.
He said he hopes to surpass that this season, and would also like to return to the Division 2 state finals, where he placed 62nd last fall.
Bettich also runs the 1600- and 3200-meter runs on Lakeshore’s track team, and is also active in Key Club. He carries a 4.0 GPA in the classroom with a 4.5 weighted GPA.
How would you describe your summer of training?
I started out with not too much mileage. I came off an injury from last spring, so I was still recovering at the beginning of the summer. As the summer progressed my mileage got longer and my training became more intense. Towards the beginning I was only running a mile or two a day. Towards the end of August I was probably running four at the least.
What is your goal for your second varsity season?
I’d love to go to state again like I did last year for cross country. For myself, I just like to keep getting better and improving my times. For my team, as a whole, I feel like we’re a great team this year. We have some great people like Charlie Ogata and Denver Borst, who are great leaders for our team.
What has it been like to go from a solid number two runner last season to the team’s consistent front runner?
It’s definitely given me a bigger role as being a leader on the team. I feel like some people look up to me. It’s great to see upperclassmen running with me, and it just lets me feel like I’m part of the team a little bit more.
How do you prepare mentally for each meet?
I do believe in a good meal before the race that’s well spaced out. Timing is key. I always focus on when and what I eat. Other than that, I really don’t focus on what I do before the race. I do get a lot of sleep the night before, if possible.
What do you like to do when you’re not in school or running?
I like just hanging out with friends. I like reading, too. I really do like non-fiction. I’ve really gotten to enjoy that kind of genre a lot more lately.