Athlete: Luke Hoover
What was your most memorable meet and why?
My most memorable meet has been New Balance Nationals Indoor when I qualified freshman year. Getting to run at the Armory and experiencing NYC was an awesome endeavor. The atmosphere there was like no other meet I have ever been to. I hope to qualify and go back with teammates this season.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
Running meets throughout Kentucky always presents significant competition both individually and for my team. Every state meet I have been to has also been extremely competitive as well as Eastern Relays and Great American.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most and why?
I would say that one of my greatest accomplishments has been getting 3rd at state with my team, which tied the highest finish by any Eastern High School boys cross country team. Along with the many of my other accomplishments came when I was a freshman, qualifying for New Balance Nationals Indoor and Outdoor and just consistently improving throughout that year.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would have changed my mental game. I struggled mentally which cost me good races in many cases and pretty much put me in a hole. I would also change my history of injury and when it struck, although that is in the past and I have taken away and learned a lot of things from those experiences.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacles I have faced and had to overcome have been injuries. I was unfortunate enough to have two stress fractures which kept me out of post season cross country my last two years as a high school athlete and a spike to the foot which put an end to my indoor season sophomore year. The injuries themselves did not compare to the fight that followed, cross training for weeks on end and repeatedly questioning my fitness.
What will you miss the most?
The thing I will miss the most is my teammates and the EHS running community. The bonds that have been created and the friendships that I have made the past four years have been better than anything I could have asked for. I have also been extremely fortunate to have a coach, mentor, and training partner as knowledgeable as Coach Horan. I'm also going to miss hearing his impressively large amount of The Office references on our long runs.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
The best advice that I can give younger athletes is that if you believe in the work you've done, the results will follow. As the great Eliud Kipchoge says frequently, "If you don't rule the mind, the mind will rule you". Sometimes keeping positive thoughts in your head and believing you can break whatever barrier lies in front of you can be harder than running itself. Once you start to believe you aren't as good as you know you should be, your race performance will reflect that negativity regardless of what shape you're in. Keeping the right thoughts and mentality is half of the battle in our sport, and I wish I had realized that earlier in my high school career.
What are your post-highschool or college plans?
I plan to run in college, although I have not decided where I will run yet.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to say thank you to my family as they have always been extremely supportive of me no matter the circumstances. I would also like to thank Coach Horan for teaching me more than how to be a good runner and for being by my side at my lowest times in this sport. Lastly, I would like to thank my teammates and the Eastern running family for pushing me to be my best day in and day out, making me the runner and person I am today.