Lake Mary senior Ryan DeGale is ranked fourth in 4A and 11th in the state. After finishing 17th at last year's Cross Country Finals, DeGale is off to a hot start in 2014. The senior was second at the Mike Gibson Summertime Run, won the Spikes & Spurs Classic the following week, and recently was third at the Hagerty Invitational in his second sub sixteen minute performance of the season. We caught up with the Rams number one runner to talk about his start in the sport, the 2014 season, and much more.
How long have you been running and how did you get started?
I have been running track since 6th grade and cross-country since seventh. I heard about the track team on the announcements and since my mother had done track I thought I'd like it. I didn't begin cross country until seventh grade because I thought I would hate it because it was too much running.
Do you remember your first real race?
Yes, my first real race was a track meet at Greenwood Lakes Middle School and I was entered in the 100m, 200m, and 4x400m. I came in dead last in every race (because I was not supposed to be a sprinter) and came to the conclusion that I hated running.
How was your summer training?
My summer training went very well. I did around 700 miles and I did two-a-days three times a week in addition to many trips to Clermont. I feel very fit and in tiptop shape because of this.
What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workout has to be repeat 800s at race pace, it is usually somewhere around 6 to 8 repetitions and I always feel very confident about that workout
What meets do you have circled on your calendar?
The big meets I will be running in this year are the Flrunners.com invitational and Pre-State, along with conference, districts, regions, and hopefully states.
Do you have a favorite course? Which course do you think is the toughest?
My favorite course by far is the flrunners course (Chain of Lakes Park) because that is where everyone of my school records have been since freshman year and it has tons of great competition. The toughest course in my opinion is either the state course (Apalachee Regional Park) or our own Mike Gibson summertime run course
Out of all your running accomplishments so far, which stands out the most?
Out of all my accomplishments two stand out the most. The first one was last year at flrunners because it was the first time I had made the Race of Champions and I broke 16 minutes for the first time there and finished more than 20 places higher than I was seeded. The second is the recent Spikes & Spurs classic because it is the first time that I've ever won a race.
What are your goals for the year?
My goals this cross country season are to stay healthy, run hard, get as close to 15 flat as possible for the 5K and hopefully place top five at the state meet. I look forward to every race equally because I get a chance to make myself better than the person I was the last week.
What do you love most about running?
What I love the most about running is how running is the only sport that will really make you look into your body and push harder than you ever thought you could and can actually make you surprise yourself with what you can actually do. Also, the friends you make running, whether they are on your team or not, become so close that you end up having 30 to 40 brothers and sisters and make lifelong friends.
Finish this sentence Ryan DeGale is ______.
Ryan DeGale is hungry and ready for a challenge.
The Low Down
We wanted to get in-depth and personal with Ryan. Check out the low down.
Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is "To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine
Do you have any pre-race rituals or routines?
I go to a pasta party with my teammates the night before every race, drink a bottle of cool blue Gatorade, and go to bed by 830. In the morning I have eaten the same thing before every cross country race since 9th grade, a chocolate peanut butter pop tart with a bottle of water. I warm up an hour before the race, pray with my team, and do our signature chant before every race.
What is your favorite food
My favorite food is salmon!
What was the last movie you saw?
The last movie I saw was Hitch and it is a hilarious movie that will never get old.
What brand of shoes do you train/race in?
I have raced in the same spikes since 9th grade, the Brooks Mach 13 Speed Dragon version. They are comfortable for me so I have boxes of them in my closet up to size 13 just in case I ever get there because they stopped making them. I train in Nike structure 17s.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I can't swim.
Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?
I would bring food so I don't starve to death, a boat to sail back on, and floaty's so that I don't drown just in case I fall in the ocean.