Devyn Keith, Annie Hill lead teams to cross country wins _lowres

Advocate staff photo by John Oubre -- Catholic High's Pierce Hill finished fourth in the Bayou Boogie Invitational last month.

Pierce Hill, Catholic High, cross country runner

How did get involved in running?

“Well, it’s always been a big part of my family. My mom runs marathons and my sister Annie (of St. Joseph’s Academy) started running before I did. I didn’t have much of running career until the summer before my freshman year. I wasn’t too serious about it in the beginning. I was planning on playing tennis that year, but I found out it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Who were your biggest influences when you started running?

“My freshman year I ran with Cole Stafford and Joe St. Cyr. I used to ride to meets with them. They would always talk to me about strategy and training and about the things you needed to do to be successful. I think about that a lot now that I’m a senior.”

You won the boys three-mile race at the Battlefield Cross Country Festival on Saturday in 16 minutes, 20 seconds. Were you pleased with that performance?

“That meet was a fun one because you get to run on different types of terrain. There’s gravel, high hills, bridges and you get to run in the woods. I liked running in the woods because it was so quiet. It’s not like it is at Highland (Road Park) where you have people screaming at every major turn.”

What is your favorite course?

“For me, a flat or track-like surface is more preferable. That’s why I like the course at Walker. It’s one big, flat square. You’re out there by yourself, but because it’s so flat and quick everything happens right in front of you.”

You’ve improved a lot over the past year. What do you think brought about this change?

“The big thing was recognizing my leadership role. When I was a freshman, I got to see what it took to be successful on the state level. There are spots that need to be filled for us to do that. I’m not quite there right now, but I’m working on it.”

Robin Fambrough