Despite the pain, Andres runs his way to a state title
Running cross country takes mental toughness. For Eureka Springs senior Nathan Andres, toughness took on a new meaning Oct. 21 when he broke a bone in his hand playing Ultimate Frisbee before cross country practice.
"We were just waiting on Coach, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and I jumped up and a kid fell and I tried not to fall on top of him, and I just fell right on my hand and broke one of my bones in my hand," Andres said.
That was 10 days before the district meet in Magazine and 17 days before the state meet in Hot Springs. Because of the pain and medication, Andres was unable to practice for a week. This didn't seem to bother Andres, however, as he set his personal record in Magazine with a time of 16 minutes, 49 seconds.
"The cast is relatively light," Andres said. "It kind of messed up my form, just because I didn't want to move it that much, but because there were no hills at district, it wasn't bad."
Andres followed that up by winning the Class 2A state meet with a time of 17:55.
"My time was about 30 seconds slower than what it was last year, but I guess it was still good enough to win," Andres said.
Andres didn't come to Eureka Springs until his freshman year. Before that he was at Jasper and didn't play sports until the seventh grade when he took a fitness test and beat everyone else who took the test with him.
"The kid that got second in everything started running cross country, and I thought, well if he can do it, then I can probably do it," Andres said.
Andres only participates in cross country and track, but prefers track and the surroundings that go along with it.
"In track, there are different types of people," Andres said. "There are jumpers and vaulters. There is more appreciation from the fans."
Because Andres only participates in the two sports, it is up to him to train himself and set his own workout routine.
"Last year, I would run seven or eight miles in the snow, even when it was really coming down," Andres said. "You just have to put miles in to win. If it wasn't for the cast I would be heavily training for track right now."
Andres said when he is running against the competition he knows the pain is there, but to block that pain, he thinks to himself how important it is that he passes the next person in front of him.
"My dad has a quote that says, 'you can't crush giants,' "Andres said. "Bad things will happen, but those who are up to the challenge will be able to overcome the challenge."