Throughout the 2017-18 high school sports season, we will name a weekly Sentinel Athlete of the Week every Monday night highlighting the on-field performances of some of the area’s best high school competitors.
This week’s athlete is Mechanicsburg cross country runner Morgan Cupp. During the PIAA Class 3A boys race, the senior hoped to finish fifth in the pack, but when he crossed the finish line his time of 15:58 was enough for fourth place.
This finish is an improvement from his 13th-place finish last season.
Q: After winning your fourth-place medal on Saturday, how much rest and sleep have you gotten?
A: I hung out with friends Saturday night after my race, so I did not get much sleep. I am kind of a night owl, but usually can’t stay up since I need sleep for running. However, with states being over and the clocks being turned, I was able to enjoy the night with my friends.
Q: Are you in still in disbelief over what happened Saturday?
A: I wouldn’t say I was ever in disbelief, but I am definitely still very excited about how my race went. I set the goal of getting fifth over six months ago and achieving it is a tremendous feeling.
Q: What got you into running?
A: I first started realizing I could run well throughout my soccer career. I played for seven years. I won a middle school turkey trot in seventh grade and Mr. Ritchie, the coach, said I should come out for the team. I decided to try it out since it didn’t conflict with soccer.
Q: Any favorite stories from practices or meets?
A: One of my favorite memories was the Paul Short meet my sophomore year. That was the muddiest, wettest and windiest race I’ve ever competed in. It was rough at first, but my team and I eventually ended up stripping down to our uniforms and running around playing Frisbee after the race. We were all so care free at that time and were having a blast.
Q: What’s your preferred pre-race meal?
A: Before races I always have some combination of eggs, a bagel and fruit (usually a banana). Then two hours before my races I eat saltine crackers.
Q: What is one spot either on a course you’ve run or just anywhere that you particularly like to run, whether because of the view or anything else?
A: I enjoy running along the Yellow Breeches creek near my house. There usually isn’t much traffic there and you can usually see some pretty interesting things going on in/around the water. During interval workouts I like going to Messiah College because the campus grass is kept very pristine.
Q: Do you have a college picked out, have your eye on one or are you still undecided?
A: I have my college choice pretty much narrowed down, but I have not received official word on my admission yet. I am going to wait to announce it — I don’t want to jinx myself.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of cross country?
A: Outside of cross country I like to hang out with my friends and do various things. In general, I prefer outdoor activities such as hiking, tubing, etc., but on lazier days I may play video games or watch some Netflix. I also have a nerdy side where I will end up learning about random topics on the internet. That happens a lot.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: I’m not sure what I would choose for this job. I’d probably pick something such as being an astronomer. I love science and have been interested in space since childhood. I like how mysterious it is to us.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: I’m inspired by different people for different reasons. My parents motivate me to help others, my coaches motivate me to work hard and my teammates motivate me to believe in myself. It’s hard to limit this question to one person because I’ve met so many great people.
Q: Do you have a quote or saying that you live by?
A: I do not, but one I like is, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.