By Don Stewart | email@example.com
Photo by Dyann Busse
Flagler College senior Mike Lambert is leading the men’s cross-country team in his last season of eligibility, but running is not his only passion.
It wasn’t until high school that Lambert ran in his first cross-country meet. He hasn’t looked back since.
“Cross-country gives you the ability to determine the outcome, as opposed to other sports such as basketball, football, etc., where you’re only as good as your weakest link and officiating comes into play,” Lambert said. “It’s mentally tough as much as it’s physically tough.”
Growing up, Lambert was, and still is, a huge basketball fan. He said he gives credit to the sport for giving him the competitive spirit he uses to perform at the sometimes-grueling cross-country meets.
He said his favorite athlete is track star David Oliver, who won the bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Oliver is still the current American record holder in the event. Lambert said he was lucky enough to spend some time working out with Oliver in his senior year of high school. He was able to learn a lot about the sport as well as how to approach life off the track, he said.
“It was a humbling experience being able to see that in person almost everyday and to then see him succeed like he did in front of the world,” Lambert said.
Around 48 hours before a race, Lambert said he begins his “pre-meet routine” which includes carbohydrates, more carbohydrates and a quick review of the track, so he can mentally prepare for a morning full of running.
“I will usually run through the course two or three times in my head before the race,” Lambert said. “On race day, I usually have a light energy snack a few hours before — usually a Snickers candy bar. [We] will warm up as a team and go through our typical stretching routines.”
The Saints have 2 meets left, prior to the conference meet on Nov. 5. Lambert said he is hoping to bring back some hardware to Flagler. He said he always runs his fastest in the big meets.