Home USA News High five: Harding recaps great race – Washington Daily News

High five: Harding recaps great race – Washington Daily News

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High five: Harding sums up a great race

Posted at 16:13, Thursday, November 10, 2022

Northside sophomore Andrew Harding takes a measured and tactical approach to cross country, and it paid off with a third-place finish at the 1A state meet in Kernersville last weekend. He covered the 5km distance in 17:20, 34 seconds off the winning pace. A native of Bath, North Carolina, he played baseball as a kid before following his older brother to the Panthers. In the spring, he also competes in the 800, 4 x 800, 2-mile and 2-mile events.

  1. Third place out of over 100 runners in the state is quite an accomplishment. What was your thought process before the race?

Andrew: Everyone’s goal is to win, but I seriously thought I had a chance. My times steadily improved this fall and I felt like I could hang with the guys at the front of the pack. I knew my speed would be good enough if I got out quickly.

  1. How did this year’s race unfold?

Andrew: There are so many runners at the start, so the first challenge was not to fall. Then, to avoid getting into the box, what really happened. I got stuck for the first half mile, but noticed that the guy who finished second was right next to me. As he took his step outward to break away, I went with him. Soon we both caught up to the front of the pack. I planned to try to take the lead at the two mile mark, but realized I would expend too much energy and not enough to finish strong. I was fifth in the last 200 meters but had enough left to pass two guys and finish third. That’s when I realized that my training had paid off.

  1. Keanu Duggan was Northside’s top running back last year and is at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hycara. How did he help you last year?

Andrew: His support and guidance meant a lot to me and still do. He came to the state meeting to encourage me and give me advice. I could hear him calling out my time and telling me to push. We’ve been talking for the last month, figuring out the race plan and training strategy. Last year he showed me how to train and how to approach racing.

  1. How did you get into running and learn to love it?

Andrew: My older brother, Jordan, was on the cross country team last year and I followed him to practice. I didn’t do it until my freshman year, but I did well and I was close to Keanu at the end of the year, so I decided to stick with it. The best part is seeing my times continue to drop and enjoying the training needed to improve them.

  1. What are your goals for the upcoming track season and the remaining two cross country seasons?

Andrei: I want at least one national championship in athletics. I aim for 4:25-4:30 for the mile and around 9:45 for the two mile. I also think I can run a two minute 800. I would also like to win the cross country title. The guy who won this year is a freshman, so we’ll see. 1A state record in cross country is 15:31. It will be interesting to try to beat this.

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