As the Region V cross-country meet approaches this weekend, the Thunder Mountain Falcons hope to qualify a runner for state for the first time in school history.
To achieve that goal, the Falcons will need a big effort from one of their top runners, sophomore Hugh Watts.
Watts, born in Seoul, South Korea, has been a major part of the ever-improving Thunder Mountain cross-country program. And as he continues to better his personal record with each passing week, he represents one of the Falcons' best chances for a state qualifier.
How did you become interested in cross-country?
"My parents were a big influence. They used to run when they were younger, like I do now."
What has it been like to set a personal record in every meet this season?
"It's been really good. I've been pacing myself well. There's been a different skill level with each meet."
What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of school?
"I like to lift weights, but also things like playing catch and football.
What is your favorite subject in school?
"History is my favorite course. I like to learn about different cultures and different times through the ages."
What are your interests beyond high school?
"I like cooking. My dad is a chef. I like to cook Italian, Spanish, and really a lot of different things. But my favorite dish is stir-fry. I've been looking into culinary arts school at Oregon State."
With your team's goal being to get a runner to state, how are you approaching the meet this weekend?
"That's the goal for me - to get to state. I'm running hard every day. I do build-ups, which is maybe running 30 minutes one day, and an hour the next day. But this is a big meet, hopefully I'll get there."