Not many individuals are given the opportunity of being selected to an American National team, but freshman sensation Ryan Roush has been selected and given the opportunity twice.
Roush was first selected to compete for the USA cross-country junior national team that traveled to Scotland on Jan. 5. Cross-country head coach Jack Hazen played a major role in attaining Roush this opportunity.
Hazen found out about these types of events while attending a national coach’s convention over the summer.
“I entered Ryan’s name in and felt he would represent pretty well,” Hazen said.
These national events include the best high school and college athletes that are under 20 years old.
Participating in an event where you represent your country certainly was nerve-wracking for Roush. But once he got to the starting line and got going, the nerves dissipated.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking because most people at this race have competed in similar atmospheres,” Roush said.
In a field of 48 competitors, while being projected last entering the race, Roush would finish ninth overall and third for the U.S. competitors. He ran the 6K race, which is approximately 3.5 miles, in 19:32.
[pullquote]The more experience he gets the better he will become,” Hazen said. “It’s just another stepping stone to great accomplishments and achievements for Ryan.”[/pullquote]
In any sport having confidence is one of the most important character traits an athlete needs to do well. After participating in such a prestigious event as this Roush feels his confidence is at an all-time high.
“I have more confidence going into Jamaica from participating in Scotland,” Roush said.
Hazen said he feels much the same way as he believes Roush is confident enough now that he will be able to run with almost any athlete.
Besides the confidence gained from the experience, Roush also received a bit of Team USA apparel for free.
“The trip and apparel Roush received was completely paid for by the USATF organization,” Hazen said.
Not only did Roush’s opportunity give him a confidence boost, but it also served as an inspiration to his teammates.
“It makes me push that much harder knowing I’m running with someone who is representing the country,” junior cross-country teammate Nick Fresenko said. “Ryan’s attitude has always been positive. He’s always been focused and confident in his running abilities.”
By continuing to participate in events like this, Roush’s confidence will continue to rise as he continues to garner invaluable experience.
“The more experience he gets the better he will become,” Hazen said. “It’s just another stepping stone to great accomplishments and achievements for Ryan.”