Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Catching up with Buchanan HS runner, CJ Albertson...

The following interview was completed by David Taylor of
In a few weeks, the California State Track and Field meet will take place once again at the spectacular Buchanan HS track.  Besides being home to one of the best high school track facilities, Buchanan HS is also home to some of the best runners in the state of CA.  One of the best is senior CJ Albertson who has more than held his own in the toughest division in cross country, Division I.  He finished in 5th place in 2010 and followed that up this past season with a 6th place finish.  During the 2011 Track and Field season, CJ  qualified to the CA state meet in the 1600 and 3200 and ran 4:12.09 and 9:09.88 in each final.  Buchanan HS is currently ranked 24th in the National 5 x 3200m. with a 9:32.59 average.  Complete list of teams here.

1. Three words that describe you and why?
Determined- When I decide to do something I almost always put as much energy as I can into it. I always believe in my goals so do whatever I can to achieve them.
-I've honestly never been good at this 3 word thing... haha maybe you can pick two other words that describe after reading all my answer.

2. What does Passion mean to you, how does it apply to running and perhaps succeeding in life?
Passion is what drives you.  I feel that when you have a passion for something, you put your all your energy into it, and do it to the best of your ability.  I also think passion involves more than just performance.  Whether your passion is in running, any other sports, or playing an instrument, a deep passion allows you to enjoy it even when you don't perform well.  Passion creates a drive for success, but also allows you just to love the simple act of whatever you're passionate about.

3. How do you want to be remembered as a runner? An all-time great, a record breaker, or one of many? An example of something greater?
I'm more concerned about how I'm remembered as a person rather than just as a runner.  As my relationship with God grows, I hope to become a better person and positively influence the lives of people around me.  I feel that God has given me a gift in running and so my goal as a runner is to use what God has given me to open up doors that wouldn't have been opened without running. So it'd be nice to be an all-time great or record holder, but being those things wouldn't mean anything if I didn't have a positive influence.

4. If you met an 8th grader transitioning into high school who dreamt of being a successful distance runner, what words of advice would you give to him?
I would tell him or her to just remember why they run.  If they dream of being successful, then chances are it's because they simply loves running.  As long as they remembers that, and don't get down about every performance, they'll become the best they can be.

5. Humility in all things...what does that phrase mean to you?
As a follower of Christ this means a lot.  I have learned that everything I have comes from God so there is no reason for me to boast about anything.  Also, I have learned that pride can ruin just about any good thing.

6. Looking back, what is the most significant moment in your running career?
 To be honest, the most significant moment in my running career is probably taking place right now.  Over the past couple months I have been struggling with my running.  I've been running slower than my Freshman year times and I'm not sure what is wrong.  I've had some tests done but most of them appear fine.  Anyways, this is the first time I've really had a "slump".  I rarely have really bad races, let alone 2 months worth of them, so at first it was really difficult for me.  However, it made me realize my priorities in life.  Before, I had said that God was the most important thing in my life and that following him was what I lived for.  However, that was when everything was going good.  But when my running performance started to decline to the point where it's difficult to even complete workouts and races, I began to worry a lot, and the thought of not being a good runner the rest of my life made me VERY uncomfortable.  That's when i realized (and am still realizing) that maybe I had been (and am) putting to much importance on running and performance.  If the purpose of running in my life is to glorify God, then doing bad or even not running at
all shouldn't be the end of the world.  I should still be able to find peace, happiness, and freedom through the Grace of God; not just through running and winning.  Now, I am still in this slump, and even though I believe I will bounce back and won't ever quick working hard, I have to be okay even if I don't because in the big picture, there's so much more than running.

7. What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
I've played just about every sport at some point in my life.  Fun Fact: Last time I played baseball I gave up a Home Run on national television.  My Little League team was in the Western Regional Championship (the game to qualify for the Little league World series) and it was broadcasted on ESPN.  Sadly, we lost.  I also played basketball for the JV team my freshman year.

8. How did you get your start in running?
In 4th grade I wanted to play football but you had to be in 5th grade so I just did XC for something to do.  It turned out I was good and loved it.

9. What were some of your highlights from your high school career so far?
My highlights are going to big meets like Nike Nationals, FootLocker Nationals, and the Brooks PR Meet.  I love meeting all the great runners out there and just hanging out with my  teammates.

10. What is your favorite racing moment thus far?
State Meet for XC my Junior Year.  I Pr'd by 30 seconds and was leading the race (including Ammar Moussa) at one point.  I finished 4th.

11. Tell us a little about your family and how they has helped you develop during your years in high school.
My family is great and has always supported me.  My dad was a basketball coach so always got me into sports, but supported me even when I quit basketball and pursued only running.  My mom has also been there with me every step of the way and always hopes the best for me.  And I can't forget my brother who doesn't have much of an interest in running but still frequently watches me.

12. Your has he influenced your running, team?
My coach believes in making his athletes better people in addition to better runners.  He has taught me and the rest of our team discipline and what it means to be part of a team.

13. Favorite distance in track? Favorite run? Favorite invitational? Favorite opponent(s)? Favorite track workouts? Favorite run?
I can never decide between the mile and the 2 mile.
I've grown to love the "long run".
The Brooks PR Invitational is a lot of fun, but it's hard to say it tops Arcadia.
I love to race anyone that will put up a good fight.

14. What races are you most looking forward to as you look ahead to the rest of your track and field season?
Now that we are in the Post Season I'm looking forward to every meet so that I can qualify for the next one.

15. Running ultimately will not define who you are, how would you like to be defined?
I think i have already answered this.  I want to be defined by the attitude I had (hopefully a positive, loving one) and the influence I had.

16. Favorite running movie, running song, and favorite runner?
St. Ralph and Pre are both good movies.
"I just Wanna Run" -Dowtown Fiction. Even though It's not really about running.
I can't say I have a favorite runner. But there are a lot that I admire.

Thank you very much for your time CJ.  AJC!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article. This kid's Righteous!

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