Hard Work over Time Beats Talent

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Hard Work over Time Beats Talent

Meggie Furlong, social media manager

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“Hard work over time beats talent” is one of the many sayings the boys cross country team chose to live by this season. Jeff Glatz, senior cross country runner, is a real-life example of how this quote works.

“ I think Jeff really illustrates that hard work over time beats talent. [He] really epitomises what we’ve established as what we see Lake Zurich boys cross country as,” Courtney May, boys cross country coach, said. “In the [18] years I’ve coached, he is one of the most improved runners I’ve ever seen.”

His teammate and friend since kindergarten, Kyle FitzGerald, senior, also praises Glatz for his continuous hard work and determination.

“He leaves it all out there [during races]. He makes sure he runs as hard as he can and he makes sure there’s nothing left in the tank when he finishes,” FitzGerald said. “He has worked so hard. He’s probably the hardest worker on the team and that definitely has paid off. He doesn’t talk about himself, but everyone knows that he’s very successful from how far he’s come.”

His dedication and willpower to become a better runner is what got Glatz onto the varsity team for the first time last season, Glatz says.

“I wasn’t really that fast as a freshman,” Glatz said. “I really wanted to be able to push myself and to be able to fully enjoy the sport [I needed to do that]. I [want to] live up to what I think my potential could be.”

Going into his senior season, Glatz has had to overcome a challenge he has never faced before in his six years of running.

“[Last] winter I got a stress fracture, but not from running. I slipped and fell [on ice] really hard. I couldn’t run for about two months. I was really bummed out. For the first couple weeks I thought my high school [running] career was over,” Glatz said. “It was a slow process. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I thought I would just get right back on there. I didn’t run track [last] season because I knew I wanted to just build up on base training for [cross country] summer camp.”

This will be Glatz’s sixth year participating in the cross country summer camp. During that time, he has grown to become a better runner with his coach’s help. He also credits his coach’s influence for his best race of all time, the 2015 Prairie Lake Conference meet.

“The last couple races [before that] were fairly average and something my coach said I should improve on was that I was starting out too slow the first mile because I was afraid of dying out later on. They told me I just can’t worry about that and when I put that into effect, I felt a lot better,” Glatz said. “Unlike any other meets, at the conference meet, our coaches handed us out cards that they wrote. [They wrote about] all the positive parts of our season to help us put those in effect for this really important race. Mine was just this little index card and said ‘twist the knife, because sticking it in is not enough,’ and from that I knew I needed to go above and beyond [in this race].”

Going above and beyond what is expected of him is not the only lesson Glatz has learned from cross country. He learned to come out of his shell from the sport, he said.

“If you want to make a difference in your life, you can’t stay in your comfort zone,” Glatz said. “[I joined cross country] because my mom wanted me to go out and do some activities over the summer, [which was out of my comfort zone].You have to really find something that can motivate you enough to get out of that zone so you can make an impact on whatever you’re trying to achieve. That’s what I live by.”


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