Jamison Dale is one of the top distance runners in Illinois. As a junior, Dale finished sixth at the 2A state meet and helped Jones to a top ten finish. Find out what he has to say about his training, the team outlook, what meets he is looking forward to, and much more in this Spotlight Athlete feature.
How did you get started in cross country?
I played travel soccer very competitively in middle school and had one coach that ruined soccer for me. I tried cross country and track in 8th grade and had lots of fun and enjoyed it. Going into my freshmen year I was going to play soccer, but Coach Adelmann inspired me to try cross country for two weeks weeks and I did and stuck with it.
What has your summer training been like?
Summer training has gone very well for my team and I. We have been piling the mileage on this summer at a hard but smart pace. Despite the heat I have been very happy with our summer training and progress.
Do you have any favorite workouts?
I don't have a favorite workout. I would say when we are tapering and the workouts are lighter those are my favorite because my body feels like it is in great shape and gets a chance to recover.
Last year you finished 6th at the state meet. Looking at the returners in 2a there is some great competition. What will it take to make the top of the podum?
Staying hungry, training smart, and racing smart. Putting in a good summer which I have been trying to do. Loving to compete and setting goals for myself and the team.
Talk about the makeup of this year's team. You have a solid group of seniors and return all of last year's top seven. What is the mindset of this group?
Our mindset is one thing: to win state! The four seniors on the team (Kirby, Luke, Armando and I) and the coaches have one goal: to cap our four years together on this team by winning state. We are all very disciplined and have been working extremely hard towards this goal. We are always pushing and encouraging each other and I believe we can do it. We are determined.
Are there any crazy stories or fun pre-race routines you can share about your time at Jones?
One crazy story would be about one of my teammates, a senior, having to wear a dress on a run. Living in Chicago there is a lot of rivalry between the Packers vs. Bears, Sox vs. Cubs, and Cubs vs. Cardinals, etc. In this case if the Bears won he would have to wear a dress and the Bears won so he did. He got some pretty weird looks and comments on the lake shore path. My pre-race routine is to eat lots of tortellini the night before and get plenty of rest. I traditionally eat only a bagel and peanut butter the morning of the race. My favorite part though is we always have a team huddle out on the line with the coaches before the gun goes off. People say I "yawn" a lot on the line but i'm just trying to relax. Post race I used to always get sick, but i've been getting better on that one.
What meets are you looking forward to this year?
I am really looking forward to the Palantine Invite this year. It is an honor to be participating in that invite and the team and I are very stoked for it. Of course I am looking forward to state. I would also like to do some damage at NXN and not only be a top runner in the state, but in the nation.
What are your goals for your senior season?
Goals for the season are just to bring home a team state title. It's all about the team. This is what we have been working extremely hard for the past four years. We really want it. As far as individual goals I would like to improve on my time and place from last year. I just want to enjoy my team and the moment. This has been a great experience and these are great guys. I couldn't ask for better coaches, teammates, or friends.