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10 Questions with Men's Cross Country Runner James Jackson

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James Jackson and the rest of the Spartans will compete in the USC Upstate Invitational on Saturday.

James Jackson and the rest of the Spartans will compete in the USC Upstate Invitational on Saturday.

Oct. 15, 2009

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - USC Upstate cross country runner James Jackson was the first Spartan to ever be named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team. The Aiken, S.C. native earned the prestigious honor after an outstanding campaign a season ago.

Jackson helped the Spartans post a fourth-place finish at the Charlotte Invitational on Oct. 2. Jackson was one of six Upstate runners to finish in the top 56. He posted a time of 26:43.40, just 15 seconds off the personal-best that he posted at the A-Sun Championships last season.

Jackson and the rest of the Spartans will run in the USC Upstate Invitational this weekend at Milliken Research Park. The second home event of the season is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. It is also the final race for the Spartans before heading to DeLand, Fla. for the conference championships on Oct. 31.

The sophomore recently talked with Alex Edwards of upstatespartans.com to discuss his expectations for the remainder of the season as well as his time here at Upstate.

This weekend, Upstate is hosting the USC Upstate Invitational, what are the expectations for the final race prior to the A-Sun Championships?
The expectations for this weekend are first and foremost to run your best. This is our chance to get all of our kinks out before we head to Florida for the conference championships.

The men's team was voted to finish seventh in the conference in the preseason poll, based on the team's performances thus far, where do you see the team finishing at the A-Sun Championships?
At the A-Sun Championships, I see our men's team finishing fourth or higher. The coaching staff has done an outstanding job of bringing in a talented group of freshman. It is a group that has helped us tremendously this year as we have competed very well at each race.

Do you have any pre-race superstitions?
No, I do not have any pre-race superstitions.

What is your mentality prior to a race and during the event itself?
My mentality prior to a race and during the event is pretty simple. I do my best to stay relaxed and focus on what needs to be done to finish as high as I can. If you weren't a runner, what sport would you like to compete in? If I was not a runner, I would most likely choose basketball. I grew up playing the game.

If your teammates were to use one adjective to describe you, what do you think they would use and why?
My teammates would probably choose dedication. I show up at every practice ready to give it my all without any hesitation at all.

What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete at Upstate?
For me, my most memorable moment was going to the A-Sun Cross Country Championships in Macon, Ga. last year. The trip was a lot of fun and we really bonded as a team. Also being named to the freshman team was quite an honor as well.

If you could pick one place anywhere in the world to travel to, where would you go and why?
I would like to travel to Kenya. All of my Kenyan teammates always tell me that I would love it there, so I would like to visit that country.

Who was your hero growing up? Why?
Growing up, I would have to say that my hero was cross country and track and field athlete Adam Goucher. The biggest reason is because of the book "Running with the Buffaloes." He was extremely hardcore in that book.

What is one interesting fact people may not know about you?
People may not be aware that I am involved with both the Lions Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes here on campus.

 
USC Upstate Cross Country
 
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