Cichon qualifies for state

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Lungs aching with every breath, soreness racing through every muscle, and calves scorching with every step. This is the fate of junior Jackson Cichon, one that he lives and breathes for, one that takes him to incredible heights.

“Wanting to be able to be able to compete to the best of my ability is what drives me,” Cichon said. “I always try to strive for the best.”

With a spirit like that as well as a PR and school record breaking 5K, Cichon qualified for the 2019 UIL Cross Country meet, leading Summit to state. His outstanding performance at what’s being called the most difficult Region was, of course, ideal for Cichon, who had high goals for this season.

“Get on top of the scoreboard and qualify for state,” Cichon said.

It’s no wonder that Jackson runs more than most of us get sleep when he’s so ambitious. Cichon said he runs over 11 hours every week, about one and a half hours every day. For him, running is second nature, a staple in his daily routine. Running is his life, and has been for around five years. His running career origin story is one akin to love, and success, at first sight.

“I started in sixth grade, and when I did good, I kept going,” Cichon said.

Even with over half a decade under his belt and medals galore, lack of motivation still manages to strike him from time to time.

“I try hard not to get unmotivated,” Cichon said. “When I do, though, I work harder than before to get back on track.”

This perseverance comes in handy in the face of setbacks. After all, he is not immune to obstacles.

“Coming in at 2nd place at District,” Cichon said in regards to this season’s setbacks.

In the face this hiccup, Cichon still outpaced all expectations. He was named MISD Student Athlete of the Month in November for his performance at Region, breaking records with a stunning time of 15:24.70. His school record was one of those shattered, ultimately dethroned this season. Cichon’s incredible accomplishments this year were no coincidence, but a product of painstaking diligence.

“On Sunday runs I upped the mileage, and I took workouts more seriously,” Cichon said.

Although he didn’t have much of an opportunity to drink in the atmosphere when racing at a mile a minute, Cichon said state was exactly what he thought it would be like. His discipline and endless ambition are bound to push to state next year, too.

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift,” Cichon said quoting famous American runner Steve Prefontaine.