The Haverford High senior cross-country runner is undefeated in his first seven Central League races, helping the Fords to a 6-1 record as of Monday. He finished first at the Briarwood Invitational, winning the varsity Division 1 race in 16:57 at Belmont Plateau, and was second at the Abington Invitational.
Q: Tell us a little about your performance at the Briarwood Invitational. What was your most vivid memory of that race? What do you think was the key to your performance that day?
A: The weather was perfect for running, pretty cool out, not much wind. My most vivid memory of that race is Parachute Hill; I had never run it before and it was even harder than I expected it would be. The key to winning that race was taking the first mile out somewhat fast, and trying to hold that spacing.
Q: What do you consider your best cross-country race of the season, and why?
A: My best race this season so far was probably the Abington Invitational. I had one of my better kicks this season and I held off Avery Lederer to finish second. It was super hot but I still managed a solid time, especially for early in the season.
Q: Briefly describe for us your pre-race preparation (physical, mental) on the day of a race.
A: On the day of a race, I try to stay relaxed, eat the same stuff I always do, drink a lot of water, and as soon as I get onto the bus headed to the meet, I know it’s game time.
Q: Tell us a little about your running shoes, the type of shoe you favor and why.
A: My favorite joggers are Brooks Ravenna 6. They are comfy and durable. My spikes are New Balance 5000xc v2. Sadly, both of these are now out of production so I have some spares.
Q: What has been the most important thing you have learned on the cross-country track this season?
A: I think that this year I have learned more about pacing a race: you can’t let kids gap you in the middle of the race or they will keep that lead, and also you have to make sure you always have something left in the tank if you need to kick it in at the end, or to hold a gap.
Q: What’s your favorite local running venue (outside of Haverford) and why?
A: I like the Philadelphia Art Museum loop for long runs – it is flat, and there’s a lot to see – very good people-watching and great views of the city and Schuylkill river.
Q: What aspect of your running are you working on most recently?
A: I have been working on mental fortitude during the beginning of that last mile – that is the hardest part. Typically you are tired, and you can’t see the finish line yet, so you have to dig down deep.
Q: You want to run cross-country for a college program. What college(s) are among your current favorites? What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My top choices are a few D-1 universities in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. I want to study marketing/health and nutrition.
Fun facts – James Abrahams
Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones.
Favorite movie: Oceans Eleven.
Favorite athlete: Usain Bolt.
Favorite pump up song: O Fortuna from Carmena Burana.
Favorite team: Team USA.
Favorite place to visit: Playa Carillo, Costa Rica.
Favorite pre-race meal: Smoked turkey breast, mac and cheese, Caesar salad.
Favorite color: Gold.
Person I most admire: “Mr. Jay Williams, my Haverford High cross-country coach. He got me to where I am today with running.”
Family: Parents Doug and Rebecca; brothers Edward, Andrew and David; dog Sunny, and cats Oreo and Cookie.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)