Name: Hunter Krasa
School: Mountain Ridge HS
In his early years at Mountain Ridge, Krasa balanced running cross-country with marching band before committing to running year-round. As a junior, Krasa placed 5th at the AIA Cross-Country State Championships. This season, he broke 15-minutes to finish among the top 40 boys at the Woodbridge Cross-Country Classic and at Desert Twilight, he set a new school record of 15:19.94 to place 17th in the Boys Sweepstakes race.
Where are you from and when did you begin running?
I was born and raised in Glendale and I began running around 7th grade. Both of my parents were runners in high school and college and both of them got me into it. We'd run 2 or 3 miles together as a family, so by the time I got to seventh grade and got the opportunity to be on a team, it seemed like something I wanted to jump into.
Do you have a favorite pre-race routine or ritual you could describe for us?
I'll usually listen to 'A Light That Never Comes' by Linkin Park as I'm putting on my flats. Other than that I try to stay relaxed.
What has been your favorite moment in your running career and why?
I think my favorite moment was probably the cool-down with the Arizona Goon Squad after the Meet of Champions last year with 20 or so of us all together running and messing around. It was cool to be a part of a group with so many of us from different backgrounds.
Do you have a role-model from years past at Mountain Ridge? If so what was the most valuable lesson they taught you?
I would say my freshman year there was a kid named Caden Midkiff. He was probably the only guy on the team that trained and the rest of the team used to yell at him for running 7:30 pace on recovery days. I looked up to him for being the only one willing to push people out of their comfort zones and his ability to work hard when conditions weren't ideal.
(The Mountain Ridge boys are currently ranked 10th in the State this season. - photo by Ruben Rivera)
You were in Marching Band at Mountain Ridge. Are there any common elements which you find between marching band and running?
Almost none, actually. Marching band is almost a completely different beast. I personally think cross-country is more fun. The team is much more tight-knit and we're able to spend most of our runs together. Whereas marching band is the complete opposite with a lot of turmoil to compete for a spot. You're at rehearsal and together as a unit but if you even say a word, you would get an earful.
Outside of running you're an avid drummer. Do you remember the first song that you were proud to learn?
I remember the first song I was ever taught to play was 'Holiday' by Green Day, but the first song I ever taught myself, in terms of picking it up on my own, was 'New Divide' by Linkin Park. I thought that was pretty cool.
You're obviously pretty coordinated. Would you consider running the steeplechase in college?
I would consider it, but I don't think I'm all that tall. I don't know if trying to hurdle a bunch of steeples would be good for me. I don't think it would be my best event but I'm always up for a new challenge.
Who do you have to thank for your success in high school?
I definitely say a lot of my coaches in the past. I balanced a rough load in high school and they modified stuff and supported me while being part of multiple activities at the same time. My parents too, not only for driving me to and from practice but for providing that support and encouragement. They're both pretty smart too and know a lot about training.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
What is currently your favorite album?
My favorite album right now is probably 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
What's your favorite sports team?
I really only pay attention to football. My dad is an avid Cowboys fan so I am too.
What's the best literary work you read in high school?
A few months ago, I read a book called 'Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz about using your mind to improve your outlook on life.
If you could go on a long run with any professional athlete, who would you pick?
Probably, Mo Farah. He's a beast is all can I say!