By: John Raffel
Breckenridge's Sumner off to impressive start in running career
Breckenridge cross country coach Kurt Gulick likes what he’s seen of his freshman runner Mason Sumner.
“Mason has had a very good start to his freshman year cross country season,” Gulick. “He finished as the No. 1 middle school cross country runner in the state of Michigan and was a top 10 runner in the nation last year, so his strong start is no surprise to me or others around the state. So far this season he is ranked third in Division 4 and is the fastest freshman in the state after Wednesday’s meet when he went 16:02. He got out-kicked by 0.3 at that meet by a strong runner of Coleman Clark from Carson City who is only a sophomore so he is young as well.”
Sumner was sixth at the Yellowjacket cross country invitational (17:40.7), second at the Shepherd Classic (16:39.9), first (16:59.9) at the Lancer Invitational, second at the 51st annual Holly Festival (17:49.4) and second at the first MSAC jamboree.
“Mason’s key to success is his work ethic,” Gulick said. “He is a super hard working kid and always pushes himself to his max. He is super competitive and hates to lose, so that drives him to be great. He is very humble and quiet. I barely know he is at practice because he never talks. At meets he usually talks to his competitors but is very supportive of everyone.
“He trained more and harder this summer than last summer. Most memorable moment of his young career is him being ranked No. 1 in the state last year and easily top 10 in the nation. He did get his first individual win at the Lancer Invite which was nice to see.”
Gulick is excited with Sumner’s Invitational.
“I expect him to keep dropping time,” he said. “The younger the runner, the more time likely is drop, but with him being so fast already the time will be harder to drop. I expect him to make the state meet and hopefully for a top 5 finish at MIS on Nov. 3. I really hope sub 16 is in the cards as well.
“He worked super hard this summer, and is very into the training we do. We are going to keep working hard in practice and keep showing up to meets knowing we can run fast.”