For The Tribune

During his junior year at Brownstown Central, Xavier Miranda decided he wanted to lose some weight so he became involved in a Polar Bear Club in Brownstown.

He enjoyed running enough that he decided to join the track team at Brownstown Central in 2015, and this school year he ran cross-country and is in his second season as a distance runner with the track squad.

“I just tried to do something different,” he said. “I was not happy with the shape I was in. I (weighed) 185, I didn’t feel good. I always wanted to get into running.

“I first started with a Polar Bear Club. I got better and better with the Polar Bear Club and I decided to run track.” He said. Maria Weigel, the girls cross-country and track coach, and Derrick Koch, the boys cross-country coach, headed up that running club.

Miranda said main events in track a year ago were the 800-meter run and 4×800 relay.

“I’ll probably be running the same thing this season, but I was in the two-mile in the (Austin) meet,” Miranda said.

“I think a lot of last year’s experience will help me achieve the goals I’ve set because now I know how fast I would be going, how I would feel running at this speed. It should really help me get my times.”

The senior helped the Braves place first in the 4×800 in a meet last week.

In the fall, Miranda enjoyed the competition of cross-country.

“I liked the bigger meets in a way where you can meet more people and see all these great runners out there and how you stack up against them,” Miranda said.

“Since it was my first year running cross-country (in 2014) and I was very slow I just stayed my own pace. I would look at my watch and set goal times for myself to run. The coach makes up our goal times and we would have mile splits.

“I tried to work out a pace the whole way through, like an even-split of times so I could manage it and not get tired.”

Seeing a handful of courses, Miranda had to adjust to the topography.

“Every meet is different, the terrain, the hills,” Miranda said. “I would just give it a glance, how it looks, to work up this hill and make that time. It was just kind of a coin-flip sometimes. Some days I would not get my times because the course was kind of tough.”

Miranda said he thinks that you have to work hard in practices to achieve success in meets.

“I think practice really is important,” he said. “It defines the difference between a good runner and an OK runner because the good runners in cross-country that can run a 15-minutes 5K, they’re been running for so long.

“I can definitely say it’s changed my life a little bit where instead of being pretty sedentary, sitting down and just watching TV until the end of the day. Now I’m just thinking about how fast with my new times should I be, and I’m going to wake up tomorrow and run, and things like that.”

Miranda said that part of the battle of running is keeping a strong mindset.

“In the running sports, mental ability I think is a really important aspect of the sport because if you’re not thinking you’re going to run fast, or thinking you’re tired, you’re going to be more fatigued than you actually are,” Miranda said.

“If someone is cheering you on, your mental stress is relieved a little bit and you just run harder.”

At a glance

Name: Xavier Miranda

School: Brownstown Central

Parents: Kathy Day and Caesar Miranda

Siblings: Lilly and Emma

Sports: Track and field, two years; cross-country, one year

Organizations: Band, robotics club

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUC, study mechanical engineering

Favorite food: Sautéed mushrooms

Favorite movie: “Spirited Away”

Q&A

Q: What’s it like attending BCHS?

A: “I like Brownstown very much. I know all my senior classmates, and a lot of people know me and that’s a good feeling. I really enjoy that a lot of teachers take their time and effort to show you something important and take the steps necessary to teach it to you.”

Q: Do you enjoy home meets?

A: “It’s our track, so it has a special place.”

Q: What was your best time and favorite course in cross-country?

A:  “My best time was 24 minutes. I really liked this one course (at Jac-Cen-Del). It was really fun just because of the scenery, and it was well-maintained. I really enjoyed watching my friends that were really good. I learned a lot from them. They were really nice to me.”

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.