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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Meet The Athlete: Jersey Miller

Scott Schimdt
Senior Jersey Miller runs to the finish line Oct. 2. Miller has ran varsity cross country for 6 years.

What has gone well in your high school career? 

I’ve had the best team in the entire world. Everyone is so supportive and so loving, and everyone works so hard. That’s really pushed me to keep growing as not just an athlete, but as a teammate and a friend. The past two years as a captain, I think I have learned how to race much better. I’ve gotten a lot better at strategy and pacing. That’s all because of (the) coaches who pour so much time and energy into helping us fine tune those skills, we have a really fun team that’s always super welcoming.

What do you think it means to be a leader (captain)?

It means you have to really care about not just the sport, but also the community, and invest a lot of time and energy into that, which is something I really believe in. I think that it’s so important to feel supported when you’re doing something that’s really hard. Cross country is a really hard sport —(it’s) not just physically exhausting, but it’s also mentally taxing and takes a lot of grit. I think showing support for people and bringing them into the community is super important. 

Would you have changed anything about the past six years running cross country? 

I would have changed my mindset earlier on from focusing on times to focusing on the journey. That’s so cringy but realizing that your worth on the team is more than just how fast you run. It’s showing up every day, the energy you bring and how big of a difference that can make. 

What do you think it takes to be a varsity athlete for so long?

I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer that, (but) from my experience and what I’ve witnessed from other people, success in sports comes from dedication and enthusiasm. If you go into things excited and ready to push yourself and you trust the process, a lot of times you will see results. Then the big thing is that not every race is going to go your way. I’ve had so many races where I absolutely bomb it, and being able to shake that off is really important. 

What advice would you tell your younger high school self?

I would say just enjoy it, don’t stress so much before races even if it means you care, but also trust yourself, coaches, training and teammates. You put in the work and you have to learn how to enjoy it.

What was your favorite memory from the last six years?

Something that stands out is my first year on the team. We had the cross country girls sleepover, and I was immediately taken back by how it was just so much fun. Everyone was so excited to be there and I thought it was so cool how there were a bunch of older kids (seniors) who were bringing in all the seventh graders and eighth graders, and it really felt like one big community.

What was your least favorite memory?

Injuries are really hard and it’s hard to have issues and to have to take a break. Having to miss out on those runs and life updates with your teammates when you’re stuck in the cardio room is never fun.

What have you learned throughout your career?

Cross country has taught me so much about grit and determination. The power of community and support, just how big a difference it can make. There will be times when you’re running and you don’t think you can keep going, but you see someone, one of your teammates, yelling and cheering you on showing you that they believe in you and to keep moving. So it’s important to keep a good community whenever you can.

Are you looking to run in college?

I would love to, yes. I’m talking to a few places but have not decided yet.

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About the Contributor
Ari Lissauer, Photo Editor
Hi my name is Ari Lissauer and I'm a junior. This is my third year being on Echo staff and I'm a photo editor. I mostly take pictures but I also write sometimes. Other hobbies of mine are playing sports like hockey, basketball and golfing. I like hanging out with my friends and working out. This year I look forward to meeting new people and taking photos.  

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