Jack Scherer On His Summer Races and Plans Going Forward

We caught up with Oshkosh North Senior Jack Scherer to discuss his recent summer race performances, injury recoveries, and how he plans to approach an unconventional spring XC season.

Jack currently holds PR's of 15:36.90 in the 5K and 9:12.60 in the 3200m. Thanks to Jack for taking the time to talk with us!

MileSplit WI: I saw that you, unlike a lot of people, actually had the chance to race last weekend, and at a pretty big event. What was it like to compete again?

Jack Scherer: Yeah, it was really nice, I got to race the 5000m at Music City. It was actually my second race this summer - I raced a 3200m near the beginning of June in Phoenix. I was just really happy to have the opportunity to get in a super deep race and try out that distance for the first time on the track.

MileSplit WI: What did your training look like going into these races?

Jack Scherer: It was weird because I had a stress fracture in the fall throughout most of the cross country season. Coming back and trying to race at the end of the season, I kind of re-injured it. I couldn't run again until January and I couldn't really run everyday or do any sort of workout until March. And so I was really just getting back into consistent training when the whole track season came down. When track got cancelled I was still building from not a whole lot, so I kind of just kept training throughout then.

MileSplit WI:  Were you happy with your performances at these summer meets?

Jack Scherer: I was pretty happy with them. It was definitely weird circumstances because it was different from the normal season where you're racing regularly and can find your rhythm - these are sort of just standalone things. At Music City I was hoping for a bit faster and I was a little disappointed just because I felt like I finished with something left in the tank. But it was the first time at a new distance and I still really enjoyed myself and was happy to get that done.

MileSplit WI: Where does your regular cross country season stand as of now?

Jack Scherer:  My school district just shut down all fall sports. They postponed it to the alternate spring season.

MileSplit WI: How do you think you would approach that season so close to track?

Jack Scherer: I don't think it would be too hard to do, just because my training isn't super periodized; I'm not building up to big peaks. It's pretty steady, just building one week into the next, so I don't think it would be too difficult to have those two different state championships two months apart. I just think it would change how I look at my season and how I would typically like to do the track season for my senior year. I probably wouldn't do as much travelling around the country for bigger invites just because we have the cross country state meet and those dates might conflict. I mean we'll see, it's changing so rapidly now that it's unlikely nothing changes.

MileSplit WI: I know it's a pretty recent shift for you, but what do you plan on doing during the fall without cross country?

Jack Scherer: I don't really know yet. I'm going to look into options, but it might just turn into one school district after the next cancelling and eventually everything gets moved to the spring. Hopefully if I don't end up racing cross country because it's just not happening, I'll be able to find some track races or do time trials with some other guys. I'll probably find something competitive to do but either way I'm excited, I know I can still train.

MileSplit WI: Going back to last year, you finished pretty well at state for cross country. How did that season play out for you?

Jack Scherer: It was a pretty interesting season, how it played out. I think I mentioned earlier I had a stress fracture. That started early August and then I couldn't really run for eight weeks. I started running again beginning of October and sort of tried to cram in some training before my first races (our conference championships, sectionals, state, and then NXR). So it was weird coming into it because I hadn't been running for super long but I was still pretty confident. My goal was kind of to win it, but with the way that my injury and the season and my recovery from that point on played out, it probably wasn't super realistic. I still felt good during the race and felt good about how I raced afterwards given the circumstances. If I would've seen that result three moths earlier I would've been pretty disappointed, but in that moment I was happy with it.

MileSplit WI: I mean given the circumstances, it's pretty impressive that you were able to come back from that injury and do as well as you did.

Jack Scherer: It was kind of unfortunate because I re-injured myself trying to come back that quickly - but you gotta do what you gotta do.

MileSplit WI: Given that this would've been your senior season starting up soon, do you plan on continuing after high school?

Jack Scherer: I do plan on running in college, so we'll have to see how that plays out. Everything's a little weird because there's a NCAA dead period, so there's no in-person contact. Visits definitely might get postponed so that whole process, I think, is going to look a little bit different than usual.

MileSplit WI: Outside of cross country and track, is there anything you like to do in the off-season?

Jack Scherer: Yeah, I like sailing a lot. I do that with my family in the summer, and we do competitions for that. I do a lot of cooking too. I also like reading a lot and obviously during the school year academics take up most of my non-running time, but yeah that's it for the most part.

MileSplit WI: If you had to choose between track and cross country, which would you pick and why?

Jack Scherer: I'd probably say track because I like the precision of it but I would prefer to race distances longer than the 3200m just because I feel like I'm a little stronger there. In general, I kind of like the uniformity of track competitions if that makes sense. But it's still hard to pick between the two because I think the camaraderie of cross country is really cool.

MileSplit WI: Thanks again for talking with us today! Looking forward to seeing you run even if it's not until the spring!