Former Leon standout John Hazelton has great memories of running in North Florida. As a current freshman at USC Upstate he has taken his talents even further north to Spartanburg, South Carolina. We caught up with Hazelton to talk about his high school memories and what he has been up to over the past year.
What was the biggest adjustment you had to make to compete at the college level?
The biggest adjustment was getting used to running in different terrain. Our workouts also differed in length and pace from what we ran in highschool
Is there anything you can tell high school athletes to better prepare them for the college experience?
If i could pass anything on, I would say that the most important thing when moving to college level of competition is to not get discouraged. Just like being a freshman again, your not going to be on the top of the food chain. You need to be able to accept that you won't jump into things being the best and also to recognize that it is a good thing. Competition is good even if its' with the people running alongside you.
What memories from competing in high school stand out the most?
I remember winning state in 2009 the most. I will never forget that. The level of accomplishment we felt that day after watching all of our hard work come together despite our low ranking and competition was indescribable. We were on top of the world. We knew most people wouldn't even hear about it, but we didn't care.
What do you miss most about running in high school?
I miss the people and my teammates.
What piece of coaching or advice that someone gave you has been the biggest help?
Coaching advice my dad gave me. Work harder than everyone else every day you are out there. If you dont' see improvement, keep working until you hate what you do, but you know it better than anything else. Know that regardless of what happens at the end of the day you gave it everything you had and didnt hold anything back. Practice what you do until it is a part of you and then you will see improvement.