VYPE: Who has been your favorite coach throughout your career and how did they impact you as a player?
Aiden Sager: My favorite coach throughout my high school career would be Coach Robert Bokies. He is one of the most kind and caring people I have ever met and truly loves what he does. He has always pushed me to my limits and has made sure I have what I need to succeed. On our team we have a saying that, “Durant Cross Country isn’t Durant Cross Country without Coach Bokies.”
VYPE: Did you have any teammates that you admire or that supported you?
AS: A teammate I admired greatly was Cory Hicks. Before he graduated, he was the teammate the others looked to for leadership. He took it upon himself to make sure everyone on the team felt comfortable and pushed us to do our best. I admired that greatly and am trying my best to fill his shoes now.
VYPE: Who was your favorite teacher and how were they influential in your life?
AS: The teacher who has influenced my life the most is my math teacher and coach, Amanda Reynolds. As my teacher and coach, she has been more constant in my life compared to other teachers. She has helped me to grow my academics in the classroom, and my athletic abilities on the track.
VYPE: What preparation have you taken this off-season to better equip yourself for the upcoming season?
AS: This off-season to help better equip myself, I took my training more rigorous than I have ever before. Every practice I tried to leave it all out there; if we ran for time, I ran longer, if we ran for speed, I ran faster. This season, because of my additional work, I opened the season with a one-minute personal record, dropping my time 5k from 18:03 to an 17:09. And were just getting started.
VYPE: What has your sport taught you that you use in your daily life?
AS: Push through it. My sport has taught me that nothing is too difficult to push through, and pain is temporary. No matter what you are going through or have to face, it is better to face the struggles and the pain head-on instead of trying to push them aside.
VYPE: What has been your favorite memory in your sport?
AS: If I had to choose, it would be when I got my nickname GingerBread during freshman year. But my overall favorite memories are the ones I was able to share with the team. Playing UNO at the tent before our races, the long bus rides home that drive us crazy, team lunches at IHOP, or drawing rain turtles in the dirt. My best memories are with the team and is what I will miss the most when I graduate.
VYPE: What do you hope to or have accomplished this season?
AS: My goal for this season is for our boys’ team, as well as the girls’ team, to qualify for state together. A personal goal I have this season is to medal at the state meet and to run a personal best.
VYPE: What matchup are you most looking forward to this season?
AS: What I am looking forward to most this season is getting to race the larger and faster schools. There are a ton of very talented athletes from the far sides of the state, and I look forward to being able to compete with them on the state course.
VYPE: What are your plans after high school?
AS: My plan after high school is to attend a four-year university for graphic design and
photography, as well as continuing my running career in both cross country and track.