Ash Midyett (C’20) runs at this year’s JSU Struts Cross Country Season Opener meet. Photo by Robert Mohr (C’21).
By Robert Mohr
Versatility is a massive advantage in all sports. A two-way basketball player who excels on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball can control the game. In football, dual-threat quarterbacks who can pass the ball as well as they can run it are a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare.
Versatility is also part of what makes Ash Midyett (C’20) such a complete and dominating runner. A conference champion in the 800 meters for two of the last three seasons, and a member of last year’s school record setting 4×400 meter relay team, Midyett has cemented himself as a force to be reckoned in the short to mid-distance track sphere.
However, Midyett’s success stretches beyond the track. In cross country, Midyett is equally competitive. On October 5, Midyett ran a personal best over eight kilometers (almost five miles) of 26:19 at the Live in Lou Cross Country Classic.
This past weekend, at the Berry Invitational, he posted another PR of 26:18, finishing thirteenth overall, and seventh among Division III runners. Head Coach Bill Cooper was pleased with Midyett’s performance: “For Ash to follow up the Louisville meet where he ran a lifetime PR by 20 seconds with another PR was extremely impressive.”
Cooper says another key element to Midyett’s performance has been his mindset: “I think that the success Ash had last year has driven him to be more focused this season. His sights are set on making it to the National meet this season (and during track). His mindset has helped not only himself to achieve personal bests this season, but has set a tone for the rest of the team to strive for the same accomplishments.”
Looking ahead to the conference meet on November 2, Cooper says, “I fully expect for us to go out at the conference meet and have some of our best performances of the season. Our focus is not on the clock but how we go out and compete. I believe that we have prepared as well as anyone else at this point of the season. I’m excited to see how things come together at conference and then at regionals 2 weeks later.”
Midyett echoed Cooper’s thoughts: “I hope to win conference. If you’re not in it to perform your best, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all, and I fully believe we are capable of winning.”