Andrew Weaver


Adrenaline and nerves flooded through freshman Andrew Weaver's mind as he positioned himself at the starting line. His first race on the high school track team -- the big leagues. As the starting gun went off, Weaver took flight, winning the race by 200 meters.

Now a junior on varsity, Weaver has run countless races. He explained that his favorite aspect of the sport are the meets. "I like the energy I get when I'm competing, especially when I'm standing at the line and my heart is racing because I know I'm about to run a mile and it's the hardest thing the body can do," he said. "It's a feeling of nervousness and excitement. I'm going to want to give up on the third lap, but I know the reward after is worth it, so a moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory."

As well as the mental preparation, Weaver noted that proper physical training is also crucial to help prevent injuries -- in Weaver's case, shin splints. "My worst injury was my shin splints last year that turned into stress fractures from constant running," he explained. "There was just too much pressure on my shins and they cracked."

In order to counter additional injuries, Weaver plans on focusing on safety in the upcoming season. "I plan on running safer by not going out so hard on practice runs and not pushing my body until it feels like it's about to break," he said.

Running safely isn't the only thing on Weaver's to-do list for his junior season, however. "I'm hoping to cut down my mile time more and come down to around 4:55," he said, noting that he currently runs a 5:12 mile. In previous seasons, Weaver added that he was able to cut down his times by working hard during practices, as well as listening to his coaches.

"We've had three different coaches the past three years, and each has their benefits," he said, adding that specifically, Coach Joseph Hoffman left a positive impact on him. "Hoffman was always really supportive of me and [my brother] Cooper and he wanted to see us succeed, so would push us really hard as well."

Though not an official coach, Weaver's father has also been incredibly influential both on and off the track. "What initially got me into [track] is my dad running," said Weaver. "He would run 5k's everyday, and then he ran a 10k race when I was little, which is really cool." Weaver explained that his dad suggested joining the track team in 6th grade, and Weaver never looked back.

In addition to running, Weaver also admires his father as a role model and leader. "I look up to my dad's ability to just get stuff done. No matter what happens, he will always get it done," he explained. "He still spends lots of quality time with us, even though he works and travels a bunch. The time he spends with us is really important."

After high school, Weaver has goals to become a pilot in order to travel the world and see as many countries as possible. While he doesn't have an intent in pursuing track professionally, the lessons that the sport has taught him will remain in the forefront of his mind after the spikes have been retired.

"I think that track will impact my life in a good and bad way," said Weaver. "I know that no matter what I do, I'll pay for it in some way. If I don't stretch before a race or workout, I know that I'm more likely to get hurt. A lesson that track has taught me is that whatever you put into anything you deserve, you'll receive. If I try to work hard during practice, I know I'll do better in a race – and that applies to everything."

Story by Lily Saylor