Evan McPherson went from hating running to breaking the school’s record time. In middle school, McPherson played basketball and football. He first joined cross country to be with friends and quickly learned about the difficulties of the sport. McPherson was one of the slowest on the team and would often get left behind when they ran; regardless, he pushed on. Rosemary Stephens and Brayden Tabler, who were upperclassmen runners when McPherson was in middle school, pushed him to be a better runner and he started to enjoy running. He was also extremely inspired by Ron Dunfee, who had set the school record in 1993. Tabler is still one of McPherson’s closest friends.
“I don’t think I can do it, I know I can do it.”
This is a motto that McPherson goes by when running. He also has some traditions. Before every race he likes to eat a pop tart for breakfast.
McPherson’s inspirations also come from his family. His father and sister come to every race. Before his mom passed away, she was really into running.
“I run for my family.”
During his cross country season, McPherson set the school record alongside some of the top runners in the state. With almost a half a mile between the top group and the others, McPherson fought for every second as he crossed the finish line at Fort Frye. On October 7th, McPherson broke his own record at Unioto with a time of 15:34 in the 5k; however, his records go beyond just cross country. On a particularly nasty day in spring, McPherson prevailed against all odds during the mile race. Despite being ranked 6th, McPherson wanted to place in the top four (top four runners make it to states). Knowing that a top four place would require a PR, McPherson pushed harder than he ever had before. In the final lap, McPherson passed 3 runners and crossed the finish line in a record breaking time of 4:27. When the smoke cleared, McPherson learned that his effort earned him 4th place, with less than a second between him and the runner in 5th.
“I felt a big sense of relief.”
McPherson is a senior and he plans on running in college. He aspires to be a social studies teacher, though he is hesitant about salary. Although many of his teammates quit running, his friends still find time to bike alongside him while he trains. When he’s not running, McPherson loves watching light-hearted movies and music. Before meets he listens to music to boost his morale. One of his favorite songs is “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and clearly there are no hills too big for McPherson to conquer.