The sport is about building to a level of sustained excellence, and a lot of that building takes place in the summer.
North Shore’s Jack Rosencrans wasn’t exactly beholden to the idea of summer training until this year. But armed with a better schedule, booming confidence, and an increased love of running, Rosencrans trained this summer like he hadn’t in prior years — and the results are undeniable.
“My past summers were very limited with training,” Rosencrans said. “I just had a lot of things going on and it wasn’t really a priority of mine. But [this year], I kept up with the distance and mileage and was doing what I was told to do. I made sure I got my runs in every day, went to the gym every day, and did all the other things that I was supposed to do.”
While his past successes masked his light summer load pretty well — Rosencrans was already the top distance runner in Nassau entering the season — he is clearly running on another level this fall. Rosencrans was fifth in Class B in 16 minutes, 20.3 seconds at the state public school championships Saturday at Sunken Meadow State Park.
The senior proved that he’s still tops in the county by winning the Class B race at the Nassau State Qualifier at Bethpage State Park last Sunday in a time of 16:10.90. The victory came one week after he won the Nassau Class III championship in 16:20.77 on the same course. These accomplishments earned Rosencrans Newsday Athlete of the Week honors.
Rosencrans was ranked seventh in the state in Class B, according to speed ratings (tullyrunners.com).
Rosencrans said he ran between 50 and 60 miles per week this summer — a vast increase that paid almost immediate dividends.
“From the get-go, I felt stronger,” Rosencrans said. “I was doing more volume at the beginning of the year, so I knew that. I could tell that I had more strength than I had in the past. I’m looking to continue that volume and continue that strength training for the winter and spring seasons. Now, at the end of \[cross country\] championship season, I’m doing a lot of speed workouts and having that final push. I’m excited for the entire year this year. I think it will be great.”
Rosencrans ran a 15:50 at the MileStat.com Invitational at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia in mid-October. That was the third-fastest 5-kilometer time on Long Island entering the state public school championships, according to milesplit.com.
Rosencrans is stronger, faster, and more dedicated than ever before. And that’s a dangerous prospect for those looking to outstride him in winter and spring.
“I’ve become really focused on this,” he said. “I’ve gotten more into it, I really like it a lot more. I’m starting to love the sport and my dedication is showing through that.”