Athlete of the Week: Mikaili RossSenior succeeds in his first year of Cross Country
September 21, 2017
By Tyler Harrison | Contributing Writer
West Ashley High School senior Mikaili Ross is enjoying the beginning of his first year on the Cross Country team. “He has been deeply committed to the sport since he decided to start,” says Assistant Coach Robert McCarthy who nominated Ross to be this week’s Athlete of the Week. “I feel honored and I’m glad that my coach recommended me,” said Ross.
Ross and his coaches were proud of his performance in the first meet of the season at Fort Dorchester. “When he races, he is always fierce in his competition and lays it all out,” says McCarthy. “I just went out and did the best that I could,” says Ross who finished the 5K with an impressive time of 21:50. “His potential is huge if he continues to work and be patient with the process,” says McCarthy. “He always gives great effort.” Ross claims that just getting involved in cross country was a big accomplishment for him.
The reason Ross tried out for cross country was in part due to his mom. Last year she urged Ross to join the track & field team, and that’s what sparked his passion for running. His track & field coach, Terry Stutts, recommended that Ross join the cross country team to help stay conditioned during the off season. Before track & field and cross country, Ross enjoyed running; he was usually happy with all his mile times in gym class, but he hadn’t considered running competitively.
Now Ross is a dedicated team member. He always tries his best for himself and his teammates. He gets motivation and inspiration from teammates Ben Harley and Isabel Del Mastro, who broke two WAHS track & field records last year. Ross also said Coach McCarthy’s positive reinforcement and encouraging words help motivate him. Ross claims that having people believe in him and having his coaches tell him that he can do it helps him to keep a positive mindset and stay focused.
Ross’s favorite thing about cross country is that it helps him to be a more positive person. “It allows you to take your mind off of negativity,” says Ross. This really does help Ross because he admits that he can get down on himself sometimes. Being able to run gives that runner’s high, which allow him to take his mind off of things.
In his free time, Ross enjoys the leisure of reading and writing. When he can find time, he practices his driving skills in hopes of getting his license later this semester. Ross also tries to train after school and on the weekends by running around his neighborhood. He said that when you are training, you “should never walk,” and keep pace for as long as you can. “I just keep moving forward,” Ross says about his training.
Ross also likes all the health benefits that come along with cross country. “[It’s] a way to stay healthy and in shape,” says Ross. This is actually part of the reason why Ross wants be a pediatrician. “I’m always about helping people,” says Ross. “Health is an important part of life.” Ross wants to help people stay healthy, especially children. Though he hasn’t decided yet which college he will attend, he hopes to attend Clemson University. Ross is already making strides to achieve his career goals by being a completer in Health Science, which is one of West Ashley High’s Career & Technology Education career majors.