Clipboard q&a | Seaforth sophomore Jack Anstrom

Competing at New Balance Nationals was ‘amazing experience’


Earlier this school year, Seaforth sophomore Jack Anstrom became the first state championship winner in school history by claiming the 2A cross country crown.

Anstrom’s time of 16:15.43 was over two seconds faster than the second-place finisher. His run helped Seaforth finish fourth overall in the boys competition behind Owen, Lincoln Charter and N.C. Science & Math. A few weeks ago, Anstrom was presented with his state championship ring alongside his parents and coaches.

The sophomore also competed during the indoor track season and was a member of the 4x400 relay team that finished fourth at the state championships in February. Another member of the 4x400 team, sophomore Will Cuicchi, won Seaforth’s second-ever state title by finishing first in the 1,000-meter race at the event.

This past weekend, both Anstrom and Cuicchi competed at the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships in Boston. In a field alongside some of the best high school runners in America, Anstrom finished 43rd overall in the 2-mile race with a time of 9:16.38. Anstrom was the third sophomore to finish the race, and his time would have won the same event at the 1A/2A and 3A championships this winter and finished second in the 4A race.

Earlier this week, Anstrom spoke with the News + Record about his experience running at the New Balance Nationals, his expectations for the outdoor season and his new state championship ring.

What was it like competing at the New Balance Nationals Indoor against some of the best high school athletes in the country?

JACK ANSTROM: It was an amazing experience. It was a really new venue. They just opened it up in October, I believe. Everything was clean, shiny, new. It was a top-tier facility as well, right on New Balance’s campus. It was really cool.

You finished well in the 2-mile race. What was your mindset heading into that event? And how did you feel during the race?

For that race, I went in saying that, really, the big part was just getting there. Once I went in, I told myself, “I don’t care what the time is. I don’t care what the place is. I just want to go in and have fun, hang with the pack and give it a good kick and see how that works.” And obviously, it worked pretty well.

How do you feel about where you are from a preparation standpoint heading into the spring season?

I’m feeling great. I had been increasing mileage and therefore not doing many workouts simultaneously, making sure I’m not getting injured in the process. But as I’ve got that mileage increased behind me, I can now start working on harder workouts and increasing my speed and fitness. That’s what is going to pay dividends.

What was it like watching your teammate, Will Cuicchi, win a state championship this winter at the indoor championships?

He did a great job. We’ve all been kind of wanting and stressing that we have to bee good as a team, not just as individuals. But I think as a lot of individuals start to do well, that’s when we start bringing it together. Even back in the indoor championships, we were fourth in the 4x800 and we’re going to bring it back out in the spring and see what we can maybe do. Maybe we can go for a championship.

You were recently presented with your state championship ring. What did it mean to finally receive that and celebrate that achievement with your family.

It was a very cool experience. They brought my parents into the cafeteria without my knowledge and presented it to me. The ring’s very heavy, so I’m not really planning on wearing it that much. But it’s definitely a cool experience to have that, and it’s really nice to be able to put it up on the wall and look at it from time to time.

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.