Spotlight Athlete: Joshua Collins - Belen Jesuit

Joshua Collins is one of the best runners in 3A and statewide. His Belen Jesuit his a perennial power and are looking to make the podium after finishing third in 2016. Learn more about Collins who was 4th as an individual last season and has high hopes for this fall.

How long have you been running and how did you get started?

I began running about 6 years ago in 6th grade. I never knew what cross country was until my mom convinced me to try it out. I wasn't a big fan of the sport and it took me awhile to fall in love with the sport.

Do you remember your first real race?

My first real race was a race at Kennedy Park, and it was a total disaster. Running in a pack was scary for me, and I ended up stoping and making an excuse that I had a "cramp". To sum things up, I didn't finish my first race.

How is your summer training going?

Summer training is the most important part to a successful season. The first week includes easy runs to get back into shape. After that, we get our miles in. By the late summer, we are in good shape, tackling track workouts and great distances in our long runs. We also took a 10 day trip to Oregon, where we really focus on building ourselves into better runners. 

What was your 2016 XC season like?

The 2016 XC season was great, but we fell short where it counted, at states. We had just graduated all of our seniors, and we were a very young team without a senior, so we knew we had to fight hard to get a spot in the State Championships. After it all, we kept our heads up knowing each one of us would return the following season.

What's a typical training week like?

-A typical training week involves in a long run, a tempo, a track workout and a recovery day. However, we always change workouts depending on the difficulty, and add more as the weeks go by.

What is your favorite workout? 

My favorite workout has to be a fartlek. I love to mix in speed while covering large distances. 

Which meets will you be running in this year?

  • UF Invitational
  • Invitational
  • FSU Pre-State Invitational
  • State Championship
These are our main focus meets.

Do you have a favorite course? What do you think is the toughest course in the state? 

My favorite course has to be the UF Invitational. The course has lots of ups and downs and always generates great times. The toughest course hands down is DDD Sommer Invitational. It's full of mud and haystacks to jump. 

Out of all your running accomplishments so far, which stands out the most?

My best accomplishment was scoring on a state championship team my 8th grade year. Although I came in 31st, it was still my best accomplishment throughout all my years running. 

What are your goals for the upcoming cross country season?

My goals are to finally go under 15, and shoot for an individual and team state title. 

What do you love most about running?

Running has always been my passion. I love the competition, I love the traveling that running provides, and I love pushing myself as hard as I can. Most importantly, I love how running really connects me with God.

The Low Down 

Do you have a favorite quote?

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. -Walt Disney

Do you have any pre-race rituals or routines?

Besides the active stretching as a team, most of my pre-race rituals comes down to individual prayers I do after my team prayers. I always ask God to guide me and run by my side.

What is your favorite food?

The typical runner meal: pasta and chicken.

What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

The Emoji Movie. What I thought about it? Why,  just why?

What brand of shoes do you train/race in?

I train in Sauconys and race in Nikes.

What professional athlete would you like to meet the most?

Mo Farah. That guy is a legend!

What are somethings most people don't know about you? 

That I have a candy addiction.

Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?

  • A fidget spinner
  • A Game Boy
  • Some sunscreen