Hamlin Takes Sixth Place at 2018 State Cross Country Championship by Bryce Jennings
On October 31, 2015, 14-year-old Jesse Hamlin stood on the starting line of the state meet in Terre Haute, thinking, “I’m going to make it here someday.”
The next year Hamlin made it to the state meet as a sophomore and tripped just before earning all-state.
During his junior year, he again made it to state but had “one of those days” and didn’t earn a medal.
Finally, after a senior season full of ups and downs (more ups than down), Hamlin was able to cap off his high school running career with a sixth place finish in the state meet.
Going into the meet, Hamlin knew he was easily a contender for all-state and was certainly capable of placing well. His plan was to “hang with the top pack” and see how far that could get him once he was there.
The race itself was predictable. Cathedral’s Cole Hocker, the favorite going into the meet, was clearly going to take the race from the beginning with maybe one or two runners following him and the rest would form a chase pack.
What wasn’t predictable was what Hamlin would end up doing in the heat of the race. Would he get gutsy and chase after Hocker? Or would he play it safe as planned and stick with the chase pack?
Hamlin ended up playing it safe and sticking with the pack. Course conditions that day were “a little soggy” and he felt it was “a struggle to get a rhythm going” with his pace. But the Snider runner was able to keep up with the pack despite the course conditions and his aching nerves.
After finishing sixth, Hamlin reflected on his race and said he felt “good” about his performance, but he believes it wasn’t as good as possible.
He has been considered to be the best runner to go through Snider, after being the first to win a semi-state title, and the highest placing of any state qualifier. This is obviously a great honor and he feels great about being able “to have that attributed” to his name.
Next up for Snider’s golden child is a track season where he hopes a state title is in his reach.
After that, he will be continuing his running career at Butler University where he has received a full ride to run both cross country and track.
“I’m excited to continue my education and running career at Butler,” Hamlin said, “and thankful to all my friends, coaches and teammates who have been a part of this journey.”