All American Star

Bailey Vrem, Editor

  With an incredible finish at nationals, Mountain View runner Jackson Shorten pulled through for an outstanding personal record landing him a rank in the top 20 in the country. Shorten has had plenty of remarkable moments in his career, but this one was significantly more memorable. 

  “I think my favorite memory was the first time I got All American because my sister also got All American,” said Shorten, “it was nice to have both of us perform well so we could celebrate that together.” Both Kiera and Jackson are incredibly gifted athletes who exceed every limit possible and push themselves beyond the average boundaries. 

  Shorten admits that there have been a variety of ups and downs during his final season as a high school athlete. “I was able to close out a race that could have been really bad if I didn’t have a good race, I was able to come through and have a good race when I needed to,” said Shorten. 

  Starting his journey with running began his sixth-grade year at Erwin Middle School. He has continued running ever since and his parents highly influenced his involvement in cross country. Shorten has persevered for seven consecutive years and his hard work has paid off. 

  Training the mind is a skill that Shorten has obtained over the years, that which he learned from his idol, Eliud Kipchoge. “He has a lot of good quotes about the mind and a lot of the mental aspects of running that I really like,” said Shorten, “I try to adopt some of his mentalities.” 

  “I really like pushing myself and seeing what I can do. People always ask me why I like running and it’s kind of a weird thing because people only really think about the physical pain of running,” said Shorten, “they don’t really acknowledge the mental side of running.” Shorten loves to create goals for himself and is strongly motivated to show the world what he can do. 

  Copious amounts of relief rush Shorten’s system after competing. “Going into a race there is usually so many nerves, I go through the race twenty different times in my head, and when it works out the way that I wanted it’s kind of relieving in a way,” said Shorten. 

  During the off-season, Shorten is busy at work to stay on top of the demanding training. At the moment, he is taking a brief break from running before he will jump right back into training for indoor and outdoor track. He plans to have a sturdy base for his training and he looks forward to competing again soon. 

  Along with having a strong physical performance, Shorten also has a steady mental proficiency to keep him focused during his runs. “Training can be super hard sometimes when I’m running sixty-five to seventy miles a week,” said Shorten, “it’s similar to a hard workload at school. If you’re able to push through those things in practice and understand those mentalities, you know how to approach those and it doesn’t seem as daunting.” 

  Shorten has ambitious goals to compete in upcoming national meets for indoor track and he hopes to break nine minutes in the two-mile. He is hoping to aim for the state records set in the outdoor track and is hoping to reach the 4:05 barrier. Breaking nine minutes would be an incredible accomplishment since only two males in Colorado have beat it. 

  “A great athlete is someone who is dedicated and willing to be uncomfortable for the desired result,” said Shorten, “there are a lot of people that want to be good but they don’t want to put in the work or the dedication that it takes to achieve those goals.”

  Shorten strongly believes that this sport is about going all in and it is also majorly about the mind. He said, “there are always those moments where you’re thinking this is uncomfortable or this hurts but it’s up to you whether you want to push through.” 

  At the national competition, Shorten was experiencing many anxieties and emotions. He wanted to end the season on a good note and he claims it was one of the most competitive fields in history. “I knew the race was going to go out really fast,” he said, “I wanted to be close to the front but not all the way at the front, I just wanted to put myself in a good spot and run relaxed.”

  Shorten’s relaxed demeanor but unwavering capability succeeded in closing out the season with a personal record of 14:36 and the prodigious title of second-team All American. With a bright future ahead, the awaited end to his high school running career is short-lived, and he anticipates a smooth transition into the indoor and outdoor track season to wrap up his extensive accomplishments.