Berkeley County School District has some fast young runners.
Philip Simmons High junior Noah Ward and Cane Bay High senior Zane Jackson were recognized this past week for personal achievements at the SCHSL state meet in Camden Nov. 19.
Ward repeated as the Class AA state champion at the meet, with a time of 15:36. He previously ran a 15:40 in last year’s state cross country meet.
Ward got into running as an eighth-grader. He runs every day but said he probably averages 45 to 50 miles a week; he particularly enjoys running on a Daniel Island trail.
Ward motivates himself by thinking of all the work he puts in training, including during the summer, and that giving up now “would be a waste of all that time.
Ward said as much as he has enjoyed his individual recognitions, he is hoping to get a team title.
“Cross country is more of a team thing,” he said, adding “I want them (my team) to be able to enjoy it too.”
Ward said he thanks his coaches, his family and his girlfriend, “CG”, for their ongoing support.
Jackson claimed the AAAAA state record with a time of 15:18. He has previously won the state championship in cross country at Palmetto Scholars Academy. He has finished second the last two years.
He won the AAAAA State 3200-meter championships last spring at Cane Bay.
“It’s very rewarding to keep reaching all the goals I’ve set for myself,” he said.
Jackson started running in seventh grade. He said he runs six days a week and typically clocks in 60 6o 65 miles a week. He said he enjoys running around the Cane Bay area but his favorite spot is a wooded trail near his home.
Jackson hopes to qualify for nationals in a few weeks.
“This is one of my best seasons and everything’s been going right so far,” he said.
Jackson thanked his coach Justin Johnson, and coach Tami Dennis with the Mt. Pleasant Track Club, as well as his parents for their ongoing support.