Mike O’Brien ’23
Chief Sports Editor
Starting this week, The Spire Sports Section is beginning a weekly Athlete Spotlight, highlighting athletes across various sports teams and how their training during the time of the pandemic is shaping up. This week, I was able to catch up with Karter Seitz ’22, a member of the Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field Team. Seitz, a junior, is serving as a captain of the cross country team along with fellow junior JT Leland and senior Joe Doerr.
Last cross country season, Seitz was a vital part of the success of the team. At the University of New Hampshire XC Invitational, Seitz opened his season with a speedy 16:05 in the 5k, good enough for 19th place and was the second Holy Cross runner to cross the finish line. Seitz’s best 8k time of the season came at the Paul Short Invitational, finishing in 25:28 for 67th place in a highly competitive field; Seitz was ahead of the second Holy Cross finisher by 17 seconds.
Outside of running, Seitz is a gifted student, making the Patriot League Honor Roll during all four semesters of his collegiate career thus far as an Economics and Math double major. Seitz additionally serves as Speaker of the SGA Senate.
Below are some questions I was able to ask Karter about his training over the last couple of months and some of his responsibilities as a captain of the team.
Q: Running can often be a solitary sport without teammates there with you to push you along during hard stretches of a run. What were the effects of having to run by yourself for a while during the pandemic?
A: Typically, I spend the summer running with former teammates and getting ready for our cross country preseason. This year, with being home for an extended period of time, not being able to train with friends due to the virus, and eventually losing the Fall season, it became difficult to stay motivated towards the things that came so easy in previous summers. This time to train by myself gave me the opportunity to learn more about my internal motivators, but also helped me realize how crucial having teammates is in order to stay motivated and be resilient.
Q: Without the normal structure of a busy day in the life of a student athlete on campus during the pandemic, did you find having more free time a benefit for your training, or did you find yourself missing that before mentioned structure to your day?
A: Personally, I am someone who thrives with a set structure. Whenever I am on campus, I am running around from event to event; so without that structure, I definitely felt a little lost and simply unmotivated.
Q: As a captain of the team, what was the most important aspect of keeping your teammates motivated and reminding them to be ready for whenever you will race next?
A: I think it’s crucial to accept that we cannot be fixating on the future and this idea that we should be preparing for the next race–simply because we do not know when that will happen. This time is useful in setting short term goals and refining our enjoyment for the sport, which is what I am trying to stress to my teammates. We are also extremely lucky to participate in a sport that does not require other people. While we are all dying to return to campus and train as a team, we are able to set team goals and work together even when we are spread out across the country.
Q: As a junior, you will likely still serve as a captain for next year’s season. What will you take from this unusual experience of captaining a team while everyone is apart for next year?
A: We had such large goals for this season, and getting yet another season taken away from us really adds fuel to the fire for next year. With our young team, we are all just excited to be able to work together in workouts and races, but also be able to experience more team bonding. It is hard to welcome new members to the team when you cannot interact with them at practice every day. So, one of the most important parts of being a captain will be to ensure the team chemistry is still here when we do finally get back together.
Q: How were you able to keep team camradire high over these last couple of months?
A: We are trying to hold each other accountable by seeing the growth of individuals on our team and being inspired by others. Now that we are back in school, we have more structures in our days, which can make it easier to schedule a specific time to workout and get back into the rhythm of a traditional season. Overall, we are hoping to be inspired by seeing our teammate’s results from strong workouts.
Q: What activities besides running were you able to engage in besides running to keep your body and mind healthy during training?
A: I have really young siblings, so being home with them over the summer was extremely fun. Whether it was going on bike rides or playing card games, they also keep things interesting. Also, I worked on two remote internships which helped fill the time during the days.
Thanks again to Karter for sharing his perspectives, and the Spire hopes to highlight the hard work, resilience, and dedication of more student-athletes in the near future.