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    Join date : 2009-09-01


    Post  andrewlin on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:18 am

    True, at a cursory glance freshman Mitchell Pratt may seem like any other ninth grader—awkward, young, and still a little goofy-looking as teenagers go. In fact, at a cursory glance the undiscerning may even dismiss him as safe. However, make no mistake—his appearances belie the truth: that he is a vicious, fast runner.
    For one, he’s medaled in every single race he’s run so far, a feat often unreachable for most freshmen. Just this past weekend on Oct. 24 at the Mt. Sac Invitational, considered the largest cross country meet in the nation, he nabbed the much-coveted second place with an unheard of three-mile time of 17:01.
    However, these numbers do an injustice, as most statistics do, because they gloss over the work and heart that goes into running. Other statements, such as that he is currently the fastest freshman on the Arcadia cross country team, are similarly meaningless out of context.
    Assistant Coach Alex Fan, who’s seen and coached a great many decorated runners, helped to place Mitchell’s success in context when he admitted, “To be honest with you, the first thing I noticed about him was his ridiculous running form. He is definitely not one of the smoothest runners out there,” however, he added, “I think he is so successful because of the sheer will he possesses and high pain tolerance. I didn't quite know how good he would get but the first time I ran with him I told him those two qualities could take him a long way in cross country.”
    Mitchell himself unknowingly revealed those same two qualities when he reflected, “What XC really comes down to is one question: How much do you want it?” When asked what motivated him to participate in such a grueling and gut-busting sport, in which the rewards come far and in-between, his response was simple but emphatic: the promise of growth and victory. He responded, “If our team's finest aren't better every year, then what are we really worth? I’m aiming to beat the Arcadia freshman record, Renaud Poizat's 15:52. That was four years ago, so I feel the need to break the standstill.”
    But Mitchell isn’t the only one with high expectations—his peers, as well as his superiors in age and experience, hold him in high esteem. Senior Patrick Wrobel expressed disbelief and respect concurrent with that of Coach Alex Fan’s when he said, “I would have never thought from a first impression that he was capable of running a 17:01 at Mt. Sac Invite. He can only get better.”
    And, as everyone familiar with him is quick to emphasize, Mitchell has a great personality and sense of humor. According to Coach Alex Fan, “every day with Mitchell Pratt is an experience. The kid is a goofball with a great attitude.” Or as senior Gabriel Weil put it, “I love that kid!”

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