Andres Bencomo's Senior Salute

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Question 1: What was your greatest moment while competing in high school?

My greatest high school running moment was crossing the finish line during the 3200m run at the Cassel's XBC Track meet with the clock reading "10:49." This moment was my first (and only) time that I broke eleven minutes for the 3200m run which was a goal that I had set at the beginning of the indoor season, but could not achieve up until that meet in April. Overall, I had a successful senior season; however, for several months, I was running nearly "11:20" for almost every meet. I am glad that I was able to finish my senior year saying that I was able to achieve the feat of breaking eleven minutes for the 3200.

Question 2: What is your biggest regret (related to T&F in high school) or what would you have done differently and why?

My biggest regret regarding running is not starting sooner! I always wonder what my times would have been during my senior year if I had begun training as an eighth grade or a freshman. For this reason, I encourage anyone who is thinking about joining XC or track to start as soon as possible. The sooner, the better!

Question 3: What will you miss the most about HS T&F/XC?

I will miss my teammates and coaches the most. They were such an awesome group to work with, and it has been an honor getting to know each of them over the past three years. They always found some way to brighten up my day whether it was at practice, at a meet, or even through our track team's Google Classroom page. I will definitely miss saying "Work Hard, Run Fast" at the end of track practices or "One Mind, One Team, One Soul, One Goal" before XC meets with them, and I wish all of them the best!

Question 4: What is some advice from incoming frosh and rising seniors on your high school team that you would like to share with them?

My advice to all of them is to give everything that you do your one-hundred percent every single time - whether it is a workout, a long run, a meet, or even a simple warm-up drill. If you put in your best effort, I guarantee that you will achieve any goal that you set for yourself. Also, don't forget the small things that make up great athletes, such as sleeping, stretching, hydrating, and communicating with the coaches.

Question 5: What was the hardest workout you did your entire high school career? Did you like it or did you dread it?

While 400 repeats were always a more difficult workout for me, there is one special case that comes to mind when thinking about my hardest workout. One time, during summer conditioning, my coach made us do 16x400 repeats, but instead of giving us rest in between intervals, she made us do strengthening exercises instead. After we finished them, it would be another 400 to run, and my coaches never told us the number of intervals we were going to do that day, so it felt endless. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I don't think that I was in shape for that workout at that point in the summer.

Question 6: How did you make track/XC a very individual sport into more of a team sport?

My coaches always emphasized how much our individual performances contributed to the success of the team, so I always made sure to always keep my fellow Cyclones in mind when running. I knew that my teammates wanted to succeed so much, which served as motivation for me to run my best. Also, I inherited a tradition from a graduated senior to present the end-of-the-year XC slideshow to our coaches at the end of the season. I had a lot of fun making it for them for two years, and I hope that tradition continues.

Question 7: Finally, what are your college plans? Will you be competing in college, where? What do you plan on studying? What do you have as career plans?

I am glad to be joining William & Mary's Class of 2022 as a W&M Scholar Award recipient where I plan to study Computer Science. I am super excited to be a part of the Tribe this fall! As for running, it won't be leaving me any time soon. Currently, I am training for half-marathons, and I plan to delve into other longer distances in the near future.