In the spotlight this week is student-athlete Evan Rogers, an Auburn High senior who runs cross-country and track
Auburn Villager: How did you get your starting running cross-country?
Evan Rogers: Mostly through my brother. I did a little bit of soccer mostly, but then once brother got good I really enjoyed watching him. About my freshman year of high school, I just decided this is something I really want to do and so I started putting my full attention and work into it.
AV: What kind of work goes into running cross-country?
ER: Well, we practice five days a week. Well, usually six, but five days of school week. And we have long runs Monday, Wednesday, Fridays and workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Our mileage is usually about 40 miles a week, so it's a lot of mileage and it takes a lot of getting used to and getting into it. Once you get into it, it's a lot of fun just because of the team and the sport and everyone involved.
AV: What do you like most about cross-country?
ER: I think the best thing about it for me is just the team, just getting to spend time with all these guys — that you get to come after school every day with them and you form a really strong bond. They're your friends all through high school.
AV: What is the biggest challenge in cross-country?
ER: The biggest challenge for me at first was self-motivation, just getting out there on the weekends and putting in the extra work because if you don't put in the work then you're not going to get the results that you want, so I think that was the biggest challenge for me.
AV: What's your mental approach to running cross-country?
ER: For cross-country, it's just the fact that everyone else around is hurting just as much as you are. You're not the only one that's out there struggling. So I think that's a big thing that a lot of people say. Just look around and everyone else is hurting just as much as you, and you've just got to push through it and finish.
AV: What do you use as motivation?
ER: I think this year it's definitely been for the team. This is for my team because we've been rebuilding. We lost a lot of seniors two years ago, so I really want to make this team a lot better and leave with it way better than it started and leave them in a good place.
AV: Did you have any role models in the sport growing up?
ER: I terms of running, I guess just the seniors above me, especially in my brother's class. They had a lot of good guys and they were really hard workers. In terms of professional runners, not really. I have a few professional guys that I think are really cool, like Craig Engels and Matt Centrowitz, 1,500-meter guys.
AV: What events do you run in track?
ER: I like middle distance, which is 1,600 meters, 800 meters, but these past few years my coach has been putting me in the 2 miles just because I'm the best guy out there for it, so I've had to do that. I'm trying to get used to that, but it's fun.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?
ER: I like to read. That's mostly my only other hobby. Running takes up a lot of time. I've made a lot of good friends through it. Yeah, but if I had another hobby, I'd just say reading. I'm kind of a bookworm.
AV: Favorite book?
ER: "Unbroken," the Louis Zamperini book. I think it got turned into a movie a year or two ago, and I went to watch it and it was really good. But yeah, that's definitely my favorite book.
AV: Do you know what you're going to do after you graduate yet?
ER: No. I'm still deciding on a major, and that's been a big part of the stress for senior year for me. It's just what major do I want to go into for college. But yeah, I'm not totally sure yet, maybe something in health sciences, PT or exercise science.