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Mitzel runs many miles towards school record

Gerardo Osorio

November 22, 2019

For many people, being able to run 170 miles in a month seems impossible. But for people like Brandon Mitzel, running 5-6miles is a daily occurrence. In fact, running more than five miles is a breeze for him. 

Brandon Mitzel, a West Point-Beemer High School junior has accumulated many achievements his cross country career. Despite being a junior, Mitzel has broken multiple records and continues to strive to break more. 

In 2017, during Mitzel’s freshman year, he placed at multiple meets and qualified for the state meet with a time of 18:26 In addition, during his sophomore year, Mitzel accomplished more. Some standout achievements were coming in second at the conference meet and eleventh at the district meet, after placing fifteenth the previous year. In addition, his personal best time that year, 17:33 was the second best time ever run by a Cadet.

This past season, Brandon placed at all but two meets, always fourth or better. Some major accomplishments, according to head coach, Meghan Schneider, was being the conference champion, district third place medaler, and most importantly, breaking the school record. 

The previous boy’s cross country record at WPBHS was 17:32, which Brandon beat with a time of 16:44 at the Boone Central meet.

Brandon explains that in the 5 years he has been actively running, it hasn’t always been so rewarding. Despite the constant effort, Brandon revealed his biggest frustration in the sport is the waiting. “I can be impatient when I’m taking too long to get better,” he said. However, his career has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved. 

Brandon’s dad, Tony Mitzel, explained his experience doubling as both a coach and a parent. “The best part of being a coach/parent is being able to spend time with Brandon helping him do something that we both enjoy, watching him grow into a strong, accomplished runner.” 

Schneider, head cross country coach, explained what she believes sets Brandon apart from other runners, “Brandon puts in the time and effort it takes to get better.” 

However, Brandon revealed how he runs his meet days in the hopes of doing well. First, his breakfast consists of dry Honey Bunches of Oats, and a regular lunch with either grapes or a cereal bar. When he arrives at the course, he walks it with his team, and as the girls begin their race, he begins his warm-up, which consists of running and stretching. Next, he runs the 5 kilometer course. After the race, he runs a couple miles for cool-down. 

In addition, Brandon always wears the same pair of socks. “I wash them between every race though,” Brandon joked.

On regular training days, Brandon runs anywhere from 3 to 12 miles. Through this, Brandon accrued over 500 miles during the summer and 500 during the regular season, according to Schneider. 

Brandon said what keeps him motivated and inspired to run all those miles is his family and coach. Also, Brandon added that he enjoys having time alone to daydream about movies and TV shows he has watched. 

Brandon and Schneider both agreed they see Brandon running in college, and Schneider said, “I hope to see him somewhere with more people at his level to push him harder.” 

In addition, teammate, Zach Paasch said Brandon is one of his biggest inspirations as a 4runner. “Brandon inspires me to work hard as an athlete and compete like one too. I find him hard working and hope to one day be as great as a competitor as him,” stated Paasch.

Despite an extremely fruitful career, Brandon aspires to achieve even more in his last high school season. “Some of my goals for next year are to medal at every meet, beat a kid from Arlington and one from DC West, and increase my pace and mileage,” stated Brandon. 

According to Brandon, he plans to run 100 miles more this summer than he did last summer, which means, he will run to Beemer and back 12.5 times a month. 

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