Noah Booz is expected to play a big role in cross-country.
Plant City senior Noah Booz is eager to get back into the cross-country groove. Head coach Drew Martucci is expecting Booz to show how much he’s improved in his short time with the team and play a big role throughout the season.
What are you capable of doing this season?
My first race, maybe a 17 flat. Honestly, I’m hoping to make it to states this year. Maybe top 10.
What’s your strongest attribute?
Staying motivated to keep at it and never give up.
What’s been your favorite moment as a Raider?
Starting off, for not that long, and being able to progress so much. I’ve only done cross-country twice, these past two years. I got into it because of track. A couple of friends asked me to come out for track, so I came out for track. Coach (Martucci) realized I was a long-distance runner, so I pretty much decided from then on that I would do cross-country. I’m actually doing both now.
What are some of the challenges of running cross-country people might not know about?
Cross-country is a lot more about mentality. You have to keep your mindset straight that, when you go out there, you have to push through. In track, it’s nice and quick. It’s all speed. But with cross-country, if you don’t put in the work before the season starts, you’re not going to go anywhere.
What do you do to prepare for a meet?
I like to put myself in the position that there are a lot of people counting on me and that, without this opportunity, without the people that support me, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Who’s your biggest support system?
Coach Martucci and my parents and my teammates.
Who do you look up to, athletically?
My dad. He ran track and cross-country. Every time I tell him my time, he’s like, ‘Oh yeah, Noah, I did this and this,’ and I’m like, ‘I can beat that.’
So your goal this year is to beat your dad at everything?
Yes, in every event.
Are you guys Plant City natives?
We came here from Pennsylvania when I was 7. We’re from Pittsburgh.
You mentioned you weren’t really into sports, growing up. What got you into it a couple of years ago?
My friends just though it would be a good idea, and my parents thought it would be a good idea. I would play outside with my friends, but I never got into an official sport until track. It just started from there.
So when you got into track and realized it was going well, did you feel like you found something that had been missing? Or was it not really like that?
Yeah, for instance, the reason I’m a Christian now is because of being on the team. The experience itself, making new friends, they led me to God, and he’s lighted my whole way … all the friends I’ve made have honestly changed my life.
What do you want to major in in college?
If I can get a scholarship for running, I plan to go and get my business degree. If not, I want to be a fire medic.
A young runner asks you for advice. What do you say?
Stay in it and run every day.
What’s your daily routine?
Over the summer, it starts off as a simple three to four miles. As you start to learn, you start bumping it up to six to eight miles a day. On Saturdays, you hit 10 miles. If you’re feeling good that day, at the end of 200 meters, you just take off with a sprint.