(Editor's note: This has been a long time coming for Carson who has been a great asset for me and Milesplit IL this track season. It is the belief that with Carson's passion and love for the sport, he will be able to take boys cross country/distance running to the next level in terms of coverage. Carson has an unbridled spirit within this sport and that will show moving forward)
Hi everyone! My name is Carson Vittorio, a soon-to-be senior at Plainfield South High School where I compete in varsity cross country and track & field. First off, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this article. As many of you may have already seen on Milesplit IL's Twitter page, I have accepted the position for the boys' cross country editor. The position was offered to me by webmaster Tony Jones. I feel that in order to be a great journalist, people need to recognize you and your work-- know who you are, how you started, and what you want to do in the future. In this piece, I hope to share with you who I am: both the runner and the journalist.
I am truly passionate about running, and I honestly believe there is no other sport like it. The sportsmanship present in the sport sets it apart from all others, as it forms lifelong bonds with teammates and competitors alike. Furthermore, in running, you get out exactly what you put in. It has taught me that hard work and unwavering dedication pays off in the end. During my 17 years of life, I have partaken in multiple sports including hockey, football, soccer, and baseball before I found my love for running. However, I was not always a fan of the sport that now completely occupies my life. I despised it in middle school and only ran to condition myself for hockey, which I originally intended on playing in high school. Thankfully, when faced with the difficult choice between whether I would run or play hockey in high school, I chose running. It has been the greatest decision of my life, for I have discovered how running can actually be enjoyable thanks to Jason Crowe, the Plainfield South Head cross country and track and field coach. This coming season, I have many goals, including qualifying for the IHSA State Cross Country Meet with my teammates. Down the road, I hope to continue competing at the collegiate level in both cross country and track and field.
I have not always viewed myself as being a journalist either. In fact, my interest in the field first developed in November of 2017, whilst watching my teammates Christian Knowlton and Stephen Merriweather race at the state cross country meet. I witnessed the incredible work that Tony the Prepster and the entire MileSplit IL crew did at the meet, and I began to consider how fun the career could be. Shortly after, I created my own Twitter account called "Illinois Running News" to discuss times and miscellaneous news surrounding the Illinois running scene. I put my own twist on MileSplit IL's team previews by ranking my top ten teams in Illinois in each classification. Soon after, their Twitter account direct messaged me inquiring about my concept. Following a few exchanges, I was offered the opportunity to become a MileSplit IL intern, which I accepted with much excitement.
My first published piece for the internship was entitled "Does Running Run in the Family?", which received amazing feedback. This kickstarted my passion for journalism. I continued to publish work for the MileSplit IL site, such as preseason track and field previews for the boys' upcoming season. On February 25th, I faced my toughest challenge to date, as it was my first on-site assignment. I assisted Pierre Nealon in covering the ICOPS invite at Lewis University. After gearing up in some MileSplit IL shirts, Pierre had me doing various interviews with athletes at the meet, which I had never done before. While this was incredibly scary, my confidence grew as the interviews went on. Since then, I have covered the Centennial Charger Invitational, Downers Grove South's Mustang Relays, the SPC Indoor Conference, Distance Night in Palatine, the Stephen P. Hunt Memorial meet, the Bill Jackson Invitational, the SPC Outdoor Conference meet, the Plano Girl's Sectional meet, the Plainfield South Boy's Sectional meet, and the IHSA Boy's Track and Field State Finals with the MileSplit IL team. I have formed personal bonds with many of my coworkers, including Colin Boyle (AKA Colin B. Photography), Rachel Hickey (La Salle-Peru all-state runner), and Chris Brenk (former Illinois track and field great). I have also had the opportunity to meet the entirety of the MileSplit IL, whom I look forward to working with and forming similar relationships with. With all this experience under my belt, I can confidently say that this is my future: I strive to be a journalist working for a well-known media outlet following my college graduation.
Now that you have an idea of who I am, I would like to acknowledge those who have helped me get to where I am today. Of course, I thank my parents for their constant support and encouragement, without which nothing would have been possible. Secondly, I must thank Tony Jones and Pierre Nealon for granting me this opportunity and teaching me everything I know about journalism. I also want to thank my fellow intern, Rachel Hickey, for being someone I can come to for advice and assistance. Lastly, I thank all of the followers of my work with MileSplit IL. It means the world to me when track fanatics like myself compliment my work. I write to entertain and inform my audience, and I hope I can continue to do so in my new position.