Prep of the Week: Thomas Herrick

(ABC 6 News) — Thomas Herrick belongs on the track.

Running is so ingrained into his life, focusing on anything else isn’t as enriching.

“I think running has taught me just super valuable goals and super valuable life lessons,” Herrick mused. “Just the dedication that this sport needs.”

The feeling of the wind blowing by and the bonds he’s made have been too good to pass up; as he’s cemented himself as a cornerstone for the rest of Austin Cross Country, qualifying for state on October 27.

“He came down that finishing stretch at the section meet and I think he knew he had it and a little bit of a smile came on his face,” Packers CxC head coach Tony Einertson remembered. “It’s a really special moment for him and for the program, in general. It’s fun to see somebody that’s worked so hard their whole career, for it to pay off in the end.”

“Just felt – it was just amazing,” Herrick agreed. “Yeah, as I finished I smiled because I knew I’d have a chance and this is kind of what I’ve been working for my whole running career.”

As one of three Packers who represented Austin on November 5, finishing 75th overall wasn’t as important as the reality that Herrick had qualified. Something he had failed to do the year prior.

Coach Einertson called it, “a cumulation of the six years that he’s really been with the program.”

“The dedication that he’s put, the hard work, the summer training. Cross country is not just this three-month adventure, for most people…”

As Herrick sets his focus on his final track and field season, it’s back to helping his younger teammates. A duty he gladly does as part of an endless dedication to a sport he wouldn’t have any other way.

“My teammate, Thomas Asmus, in seventh grade, he showed very strong potential,” Herrick mentioned. “I’m really excited to see where he can go in the next year. Not only him, but the whole team. I want to see where they can take themselves with their potential.”