Interview with Ethan Short

KYTRACKXC Interview with Ethan Short

Ethan Short (Trinity HS) is the top returning runner from the AAA Boys State Meet last year. He enters this season with a Trinity team that returns most of their top runners from a squad that was ranked in the Nike Team National Southeast rankings and that many have pegged as the pre-season favorite to win State.

1. A lot of people in the Louisville area probably think of your family as being synonymous with running. Your Dad revived the Lourdes program into one of the best in the State, coached many great athletes, and helped guide the Mason Dixon Athletic Club to some strong AAU and USATF finishes. Your Mom and Dad put on the St Pius Grade School Meet for a number of years, and both of your older brothers did very well before you. For some athletes in that kind of situation, the expectations of running success are hard to deal with. Did you ever feel that kind of burden?

It was never really a burden; it was mostly just added motivation. Since I was very young, my Dad has always had my brothers and me racing each other. Running with my older brother my freshman year really helped to motivate me because I wanted to beat him, but overall I don\'t feel too much pressure to be better than them (maybe because I\'ve exceeded their best times and places).

2. How would you describe your high school running career up to this point?

Up and Down... Freshman year came unexpectedly with good times and all-state freshman team and running on our 4x800 team at state. Then I got injured sophomore year and struggled throughout CC but was a member of the state champion 4x800 team that year in track. Last CC year was another really good one while track was a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully I'm ready for another good CC season

3. Tell us about your first high school race? How'd you do? Did you enjoy it?

Daviess County JV race... I don't remember much about it except that I won it, placed in the top 5 on the team time wise and my mom was ecstatic that I had done so well in my first high school race. The next week was more memorable at the mud-trenched Tiger Run when Brian Long and I battled it out in a 4k race in which I won another one.

4. You've got two older brothers who both ran. Was there ever a lot of competition between you guys?

Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, competition between my brothers and I is fierce. We have home videos of us when we were young and we would race. Of course my Dad would be holding the camera and you could hear him saying, \"Oh come on Adam (oldest), are you gonna let Tyler (2nd oldest) beat you?\" So, competition has always been a big deal in our family especially in something like running because it's something that all of us do or did.

5. Other than your family, who are some of the people who've influenced you the most when it comes to running?

Coach Waggoner and Coach Holzknecht, my two main coaches at Trinity, have had a big influence on me. Coach Waggoner brought me to running more miles than I could ever imagine when I came to Trinity and it has really paid off; while Coach Holzknecht emphasizes more of a lifestyle of running when it comes to sleeping and eating right and getting new shoes often. Actually Mike Szabo, Trinity\'s basketball coach, influenced me by cutting me from our freshman team, kind of forcing me to become even more serious about running.

6. You've known and run against Brian Long (St Xavier) for quite a long time. You're the top returning runner from last year's State Meet and Brian has the best returning time from last season. You attend Trinity and he's at St X, two schools with very strong rivalries in all sports.

What kind of relationship do you guys have?

We\'re friends and occasionally even hang out. It's one of the friendliest rivalries you\'ll ever see. He was actually at my house a few weekends ago hanging out with a couple of St.X\'s other top 7 runners and a couple other runners from our school, so it's not a bitter rivalry in any regard.

How would you describe the "rivalry" between Trinity and you, versus Brian and St X?

It\'s more of an unsaid thing than anything... Brian and I both know, and it is obvious that we want to beat each other more than anybody else out on the course, which is how it is mainly between Trinity and St. X. We're not very vocal about it (unless it's on kypreps), and keep it more low key than anything, but we both know each of us wants to beat the other.

7. I know you as someone with what I can probably best describe as having an interesting sense of humor. How would you best describe your sense of humor?

I like to keep the running scene pretty light in terms of attitude. A lot of people get so intensely into training and wanting to win that they forget that we're just in high school doing an after school thing and that we need to have fun too. I\'m very mischievous and enjoy stirring up the pot every now and then to get a rise out of some people, and to find other runners who can share that humor with me.

8. What's the most random or strangest thing you've ever done?

One night, me and one of my buddies didn't have anything to do because all of our other friends were out of town, grounded or something, so we went to this \"different\" party with a bunch of people who do drama really seriously. We show up and it's just chock full of these \"different\" people, girls with pink mohawks, guys who are dressed up as girls, some black guy with these huge long dreadlocks, some guy named "Daisy" with a leather jacket and long frizzy hair yelling/telling everyone how the media and TV these days have ruined our world, and guys who were really girls lighting up joints with girls who were really guys. We ended up spending the night and seeing a different section of Louisville\'s youth, but it turned out to be one of the funniest and most interesting nights of my life.

9. Who's the bigger "chick magnet", you or Shane Powell (Daviess County)?

Obviously Shane Powell - I mean he is a god.

10. Ok, let's talk some more about running. Your team does a team camp thing just as the season starts. What's that like?

It\'s a week full of intense running and competition within the team. It helps us to build a major base and helps us to see where everyone stands on the team. Although there is a lot of intense running, most of the guys would agree that they wouldn't mind doing it 3 times a year if we could because it is a lot of fun as well. Other than that I better not give any more specifics or else Coach Waggoner might get mad that I'm giving away his secrets.

11. What are some of your goals this season, both for yourself and for your team?

Teamwise, we obviously want to win State. Other than that, we just want to do our best and if NTN is in the cards, then we\'ll be prepared for it, but we are training for State like always and anything more than that is just a bonus. We have what we call the \"steel curtain\" made up of our fabulous four freshmen from 3 years ago: myself, Sean Darrow, Thomas Noel, and Bryan Henn; along with a good group of sophomores and a couple of solid returning juniors.

At this point for myself, I\'d like to be top 3-5 at state. I am the top returning runner from last year's state meet, but I developed some tendonitis in my knee at GSP [a 5-week summer academic program] and it stalled my running for a while. So, anything more than that is just a bonus, but I'll certainly work to do the best I possibly can.

12. As you prepare for big races like Trinity Invitational, Lexington Catholic, Regionals and State, is there a specific workout you do that tells you whether you're really ready or not to go fast?

Not really at all, I just know depending on how I\'ve felt during that week of practice.

13. Would you describe your Cross Country training as high miles with low intensity, low miles with high intensity or somewhere in the middle?

It\'s becoming more of the latter because a lot of miles tend to injure me probably because of my big runner's frame, but it's still somewhere in the middle as of right now.

14. Your team was a very strong pack-running squad last year. Is there anything your coach or team does that helps develop that pack-running mentality?

Coach Waggoner stresses more than anything that we need to \"close the window\". When we are doing a speed workout and our 7 and 8 guys are 2 seconds behind our 5 and 6 guys, Coach Waggoner gets on them to close the window. Coach stresses that it's a lot easier for us to keep running solid if you are running with your teammates because you don't want to fall behind them and they don't want to fall behind you.

15. Do you have a favorite course?

Some course in Tennessee that we went to last year. I had an awesome race 2 years ago (the only good race of that year) and came in runner-up unexpectedly last year. I also kind of like the DeSales course.

16. Let's look ahead a little bit. In terms of colleges, what are you looking for in a college, and are you planning to run in college?

As of right now, I'm not planning on running in college. Like Coach Waggoner has said, it's not that I don't enjoy running and everything that comes with it, I just get tired of being nicked up all the time and having to run through injuries; but it's definitely not out of the picture and if the right school wanted me to run for them then I would definitely consider trying it for a year to see how I liked it.

17. Trinity is one of those schools that seem to produce great runner after great runner. Who are some of the younger guys on your team that you think will become the next Trinity running stars?

Dane Flinchum and Brian Hancock are two sophomores who are fighting for top 5 positions on our team with Gregory Biddle, another soph (cousin of Trinity grad Michael Raidt) right behind them. Obviously, we will lose a lot after this year, but we will definitely have a solid group coming back next year and especially in two years.

18. Any closing remarks?

I love you.