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Achieving the runner’s high

Senior Tyler Hopkin prepares for final Farmer season

Senior+Tyler+Hopkin+runs+the+Gingerbread+Jamboree+at+Camp+Compass+in+Denton+on+Thursday%2C+Aug.+30.+Courtesy+of+Stacey+Hopkin.
Senior Tyler Hopkin runs the Gingerbread Jamboree at Camp Compass in Denton on Thursday, Aug. 30. Courtesy of Stacey Hopkin.

Senior Tyler Hopkin runs the Gingerbread Jamboree at Camp Compass in Denton on Thursday, Aug. 30. Courtesy of Stacey Hopkin.

Senior Tyler Hopkin runs the Gingerbread Jamboree at Camp Compass in Denton on Thursday, Aug. 30. Courtesy of Stacey Hopkin.

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The timer goes off. He has run this event each season; it’s the one he knows best. It’s his bread and butter. He keeps a racing pace and takes first place with only a few steps away from the finish line. He crosses it, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees his teammates. He sees his family. He sees home. In the back of his mind, he is going to miss this team and all his teammates have done for him.

Throughout the past summer, senior Tyler Hopkin prepared for this year’s season intensely by improving his skill in every possible aspect for his last season as a high schooler. He hopes this can help him improve his times for the year.

“This summer I upped my mileage quite a bit,” Hopkin said. “I was [running] 65 to 70 miles a week so I could build strength and a strong base that I could build upon throughout the year.”

Last season Hopkin injured his Achilles, so for five weeks he was unable to run. This caused him to miss a portion of the meets, however, he now feels ready to run for his team.

“You start to lose fitness after two days of not running, so five weeks is a lot,” Hopkin said. “All season it seemed like I wasn’t going to reach my goal of a sub 4:30 mile; I ran 4:40 almost every week. For the last race, we went down to Houston and I told myself I had to go for it if I wanted to make it happen; I ended up running 4:27 [and set an] 11-second personal record.”

Not only is Hopkin worried about his own times, but he also wants to see his teammates improve. He has shown leadership skills to ensure the team improves its scores as a whole.

“He has stepped in that role to try to encourage even underclassmen,” head cross country coach Heather Moss said. “[He also] sets a standard of what we are trying to shape our program for the years coming ahead.”

Hopkin has been a key part of the team and has shown why he deserves to be captain. He is known to provide advice and help keep his teammates composed before each meet.

“I was about to run my first varsity race [and] I was super nervous,” junior Megan Nowlin said. “He was there giving me tips about the course and telling me words of encouragement right until I started. Then when I finished he was the first one at the finish line to tell me good job and congratulate me. Tyler is a great friend and always makes sure to support all of his teammates.”

Hopkin started running at a young age and has kept with it his entire life. He sees it as a great way to stay active and loves the adrenaline that comes with competing.

“I have been running since I was 4, so it’s a big part of my life,” Hopkin said. “I like the feeling after you race, that feeling after you’ve put yourself out there and ran the absolute hardest. It’s peaceful – it’s why I run.”

This year Hopkin has a multitude of goals and will do whatever it takes to accomplish them. While a majority of them are personal goals, he still has team goals he wants to accomplish.

“My main goal this year is to make it out of district to region and maybe to state,” Hopkin said. “Not just as an individual but also as a team. We are in one of the most competitive districts in the country and no one from Lewisville has made it out in 11 years, so we are really hoping to change that.”

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Achieving the runner’s high