Name: Matthew Pickering
School: Manhattan High School
Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: Right now I'm just taking it real chill. Lots of easy miles and moderate workouts. I'm going to be serving a two year mission for my church starting in mid August. Training wise that means the next couple months will be focused on just getting my mileage up and then when summer hits start throwing in some harder workouts focused on the 8-10k distance. I have really good general fitness now so it's all about adding to that for now and then specializing in the summer.
Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: Not a lot. Between running, biking, strength, recovery, lots of sleep, and meal prep most of my day is running related. Lately I've been readingRun the Mile You're Inby Ryan Hall. He's my favorite athlete so I have no idea how I didn't find it sooner. Other than that I practice piano, hand out with my family and work.
Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: I have a couple. First two races of Freshman year xc were pretty good. Also beating Olathe East by one point at Joplin that same year. Recently it would be the team time trials of this track season. I was able to finally feel a bit like my old self again after 3.5 years of struggling.
Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: Every easy run is funny when you have Daniel Harkin as a teammate.
Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: Hands down the passion and dedication I feel for the sport now.
Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: Absolutely nothing. I'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason. The thing is, you truly have no idea who or where you'd be if you were to change something. That's the beauty of the sport. Trust where you are and just run with it.
Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: I had two major injuries in high school. One that took me out for freshman year track and the other both Junior year track and senior year xc. You learn a lot about yourself when you're in those really bad places and thankfully I was able to make some decisions that are the core of who I am today.
Q: What will you miss the most?
A: The people. I've made so many great relationships with my teammates and coaches over the years.
Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?
A: Little sacrifice, little success. Big sacrifice, big success. I've seen this a lot this past year.
Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?
A: Kory's coaching philosophy is one built on trust. You know you better than anyone else. This helps me to be mindful in my training and perform at my best. Coach Melgares has also been instramental in helping me develope as an athlete and person. Grateful to spend time with them and feel the passion we share.
Q: What are your college plans?
A: A two year mission for my church and then BYU.
Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
A: Most importantly God and his son Jesus Christ. Also my parents who have sacrificed endlessly for me. Other than that just all my teammates, coaches, and specialists that I have worked with.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A Enjoy the process. Running is all about stacking days, weeks, months, and years. Do that and one day you're gonna wake up and run like you've never ran in your life. That's something Reid Buchanan told our team. It's really stuck with me. Super cool to see that happen to me in 2020.