Mitchell Morris is a Cape Elizabeth High senior who posted the fastest time by any underclassmen at any of the three cross country state title meets last season.

This is his second year running cross country after moving over from soccer (which he still loves) his first two years in high school. He also discovered a penchant for late-night runs, a practice that sprang from the realization last winter that doing homework while tired makes him fall asleep, but running does not.

Q: What’s the appeal of distance running?

A: When you’re on your own, going for an everyday run, there isn’t that much appeal. But when you have a team around you, it really changes things. You’re going through it together. Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been on distance runs with my teammates.

Q: What goes through your head when you run?

A: I’ve heard a lot of people do math in their heads. I focus on what I’m doing. I have a bit of a disalignment with my knee over my foot, so I focus on trying to get my stride in order, about planting my foot firmly. My arms used to be really high when I ran, so I think about swinging them low. I know it’s a sport where it doesn’t take an enormous amount of quick decisions, as in soccer, but there are little things you do while running that can really help.”


Q: What have you learned about yourself because of cross country?

A: When I joined the team I didn’t think I would ever be this good or have an opportunity to run in college or be interviewed by a paper for this. I think it’s taught me a lot about my capacity for hard work and structure, because those things are necessary to do well in this sport.

Q: What kind of feedback are you getting from college coaches?

A: Nearly every college coach I’ve talked to has been really excited to get another Maine runner on their team. We do have a bit of a reputation around the country.

Q: Where do you feel most content?

A: That has always been the kitchen in my house. It’s never empty. There’s always lots of great sounds and smells. I love my mom’s cooking. She’s Italian. There’s a fire here where the whole family sits and talks. No one ever does serious work. It’s a room that’s completely detached from the stressful parts of life.

Q: Your favorite form of social media?

A: I don’t really use it other than to communicate with my team. I have a Facebook account. I don’t have Twitter or Instagram. I’m so busy with running and school that I don’t really need another thing to spend my time on.

I see people all the time scrolling on Twitter, checking on Snapchat, and they start to feel like responsibilities. I don’t have anything against them, but I don’t have those things and I’m kind of glad I don’t.

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