As summer comes to an end, and the beginning of school and fall sports draws near, we can’t help but express our excitement for all of our athletes who will be competing on their school and college teams! For this week’s Q & A we caught up with Chris Kimball. Chris is an all-star cross country and track athlete who will be starting as a freshman this fall at Nichols College! He will participate in both the cross country and track teams.
How did you get involved in running?
I got into running because my father used to run marathons and in fourth grade he challenged me to a race. So we signed up for a 5k and without any training I stunned myself and my family by running a 24 minute 5k, and beating my father. After that I joined cross country in fifth grade and from that point forward running has been my thing.
Throughout your high school career, what events did you run? What distance did you run for cross country?
Throughout high school I typically ran the two mile and the one mile at my track meets and cross country races were 5ks.
Do any meets or races stand out in particular as some of your favorites?
One of my favorite races was my first race as part of the varsity team sophomore year. Freshman year coach had to choose between me and one of my teammates who happened to be a senior. Coach chose the senior because he had never been on varsity before. But sophomore year coach had to choose between me and a junior and coach gave me the honor of running with our varsity team. Another one of my favorite races was this past fall, where due two an injury to our number one runner and captain, I took over as my team’s lead runner for our district meet. I had a tough day and didn’t qualify for the state meet, but that wasn’t important to me, or at least not as important as the fact that I’d accomplished what some of my family, friends, and teachers thought impossible. I, a visually impaired runner, was taking my shot at making states. I may have blown my chance by running easily my slowest race of the season
but if there is one thing I can’t stand it’s being told YOU CAN’T.
My favorite track meet was the Central State Divisional meet this past spring. I had qualified to run the two mile and the one mile at this meet with a one mile time of 5:00.55 and a two mile time of 10:26. This meet was the culmination of my high school athletic career and all the blood, sweat and effort I’d poorer into my athletics. I had entered high school with an average 5k time above 23 minutes, a two mile time above 13 minutes, and a one mile time above 6 minutes and reduced them to a 17 minute 5k, 10:26 two mile, and 5:00 one mile.
What would you say are some of your biggest athletic accomplishments?
Some of my biggest athletic accomplishments include qualifying for divisional states in the two mile in winter track senior year, qualifying for divisional states in the two mile and one mile in spring track senior year, and once again proving that visually impaired runners are capable of competing at a competitive level in high school. And I can’t wait to prove to any doubters out there that visually impaired runners can compete competitively at the collegiate level.
Do you typically run with a guide? Do you have one specific one you always run with or many? Will you run with a guide in college?
I have had some experience running with a few different guides in some 5k races. I do plan on running with a guide as much as I can in college.
Why did you choose Nichols?
I chose Nichols College because they have such a great sports management program, fantastic internship opportunities, it is a small school which is more suited for me.
What are you doing this summer to prepare for collegiate running?
Throughout the summer I have steadily been increasing the length and distance of my workouts to account for the jump from 5ks to 8ks while best attempting to avoid season threatening injuries.
What are you most excited about in entering college?
I am excited to succeed academically whilst furthering my athletic career in an attempt to reach my life dream of being the general manager of the New York Yankees.
What are you most nervous about?
I’m not really nervous for anything. I’ve just tried to stay as positive as possible and ready myself for the next step in my life.
What advice would you give a sophomore/ junior who is looking at colleges?
My advice would be to choose a college based on what you want to do professionally not on what sports division the college is in or what clubs they have, or where your friends are going. College is a time for you to prepare for your professional life after college and college is one of the few decisions in life where it could be considered ok to be as selfish as possible.
What are your goals for your first year? athletically, academically, and socially?
My goals are to maintain at least a 3.2 GPA, become a successful team contributor in cross country and track and be as social as possible.
Keep an eye out for more about Chris’ accomplishments this fall and be sure to catch him at the Martin Richard Mile!