The Union Recorder

Local Sports

November 2, 2012

GMC’s Archer takes week’s top honor

MILLEDGEVILLE — After fellow teammate, Colby Smith, was reported out with a season-ending injury, junior cross country runner Will Archer managed to step up and take on the role of leading the team in practices and in meets.

In just his second season with the Georgia Military College Prep cross country team, Archer has posted impressive times and placed well in meets.

“It makes me feel good. As a sport, cross country isn’t my favorite sport,” he said. “My favorite would probably be soccer or track, but overall, what I’m best at is cross country and track.”

Running long distances is not unfamiliar territory for the tall lanky junior, since he started running local road races when he was in the third grade.

Archer admits he did not get serious about the sport until this year, when his improvement was near where he thought it should be since his early days as a runner.

“I knew I was decent all through middle school, because I had run with the varsity team. This year, my dad had log time from when I was little, like 12 [years old], and he had log times from 5k’s and I saw that when I was 11 [years old] I ran 21:30,” Archer said. “My starting time last year was a 21-flat, so I realized that from 11 to 14-15 [years old] I improved by 30 seconds, and that I could have been so much faster. Now I realized it’s not too late, but I can’t waste any more time.”

Not only has time served as a motivator for the young runner, but so has the thought of possibly earning a scholarship after high school.

“This year is when it kind of hit me, that outside of high school, I don’t know what I would do without sports,” Archer said. “It’s going to stink when I can’t do sports, so that’s when it hit me that I have to keep it up if I want to continue after high school.”

The improvement this season has certainly been drastic for Archer, but he still believes his best is yet to come.

“I’ve been doing pretty good, but my times aren’t where I want them,” Archer said. “I want to keep running after the season so that way come track and over the summer, by cross country season next year I’ll be in much better shape and hopefully faster.”

Running for the University of Georgia is Archer’s biggest goal as a runner, an aspiration that will require him to run very fast between now and the end of his senior season.

“Personally, I feel like I can if I really work and if Jeff [Crain] helps me, but I really want to run track for UGA. That’s my number one top goal,” Archer said. “So, I’m mainly working for track and I want to get my mile time down to you know, 4:20 between now and senior year. I want to give it my best.”

Before Archer can begin his preparations for the spring track season, he must tackle his first test on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class-A Public School State Cross Country Championships.

“I don’t think there are going to be as many teams as last year; maybe 12, so nearly a hundred people,” Archer said. “I want to be top five if I could. I think I can, looking at the times from people we have been able to see online.”

Archer will lead GMC Prep against the best cross country teams in the State of Georgia in the GHSA Class-A Public School League on Saturday.

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