Athlete Spotlight: Michael Dennis - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Athlete Spotlight: Michael Dennis

Michael Dennis

Michael Dennis is a sophomore for the LCC men's cross country team.  Photo by Kaitlyn Delaney

Kaitlyn Delaney

The Lookout Photo Editor Kaitlyn Delaney recently spoke with LCC cross country runner Michael Dennis. Dennis is currently a sophomore at LCC and graduated from St. Johns High School.

When did you begin running cross country?
“My first year was my sophomore year. My brother had ran it since eighth grade, and I just kind of followed him around. So, I ended up joining my high school team in 10th grade.”

What made you want to run cross country growing up?
“My brother. When he started running, I was kind of inspired by him, and how focused he was. I wanted to get in better shape, because I was kind of inactive at the time. So I thought, you know, running would be a good way to get myself in shape.”

Who is someone who inspires you, in the sport or out of it?
“My parents, kind of inspire me, just because they’ve always been so supportive. They’re always out to give advice, and whether I’ve had a good or bad race they’re always proud of me, so I just really appreciate them.”

Is there one piece of advice you’ve been given that sticks with you?
“You know, a piece of advice I got was start races slow. There’s a few races where I started out a little too hot and paid the price later. So the advice to start races a little slower than you think you need to go has really stuck with me, because it has prevented me from having some embarrassing times.”

Do you have any personal or team goals for the rest of the season?
“The team goal is to win nationals, hopefully. We’re ranked second in the country now, but we really think we have the potential to be the best team in the country. We just have to keep working hard at it. It would be cool if I could get an individual (award) as well; individual champion, or have someone on the team do it.”

Do you have any moments from running in high school or LCC that stand out?
“At Oakland, I was able to break the school record. I wasn’t feeling very good the day before, and I was kind of upset. Such a beautiful day, you know, and not feeling good. But I was able to stick with the pack, and keep it going. At the final straightaway I had no idea I was even close to it. And then I realized, oh shoot, I’m like eight seconds away from the finish line and eight seconds away from the record. I’ve got to go! So, that was really memorable.

Do you have any pre-run routines?
“I stretch. Sometimes I listen to ‘Rocky’ music; nothing extreme.”

What are your plans after LCC?
“I’m hoping to transfer somewhere else to run. I’m not exactly sure where that will be. God will have me where he needs me to be. At this point, just transfer to a four-year (college), hopefully keep running (and) definitely get a degree.”

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