Local Sports: Hard training pays off for Red Deer runner Jared Howse

Jared Howse understands success doesn’t come easily.

The 17-year-old has put together a strong training program that has him rated as one of the top cross-country and middle distance runners for his age in the country.

Howse has an impressive resume over the past three years.

“It’s rewarding to see all the hard-training you put into it pay off,” said the five-foot-10 St. Joseph’s High School Grade 11 student.

“I’ve had early success but with my training I see my times consistently going down. It gives you motivation.”

Howse was involved in karate and soccer before getting involved in running while in middle school at Fox Run in Sylvan Lake.

“The first time was when I joined the school’s cross-country team,” he explained. “That got me interested and hooked.”

He joined the Red Deer Titans Track Club, under the tutelage of his father Shawn, who is the distance coach, and he burst onto the provincial scene.

In 2016 he won gold in the 2,000-metres in the Alberta Athletics U16 indoor track and field championships and bronze in the outdoor finals. He also competed in the Alberta Summer Games, finishing second in the 2,000m and third in the 1,200m.

In 2017 he was Alberta Athletics U16 cross-country athlete of the year after winning the provincial title in the U16 division and finishing second in the junior boys category.

He also won the provincial U16 2,000m in both of the indoor and outdoor finals and the 1,500m steeplechase outdoors.

He competed in the Tri-Prov Western Canadian outdoor finals, winning the 1,500m steeplechase and finishing third in the 2,000m. He was third in the 1,500 steeplechase and second with the Alberta medley relay team at the Legion U16 National Championships.

The 2018 season was even more impressive as he won the provincial junior boys cross-country title and helped Alberta take second at the nationals while finishing 22nd out of 293 competitors. He won the 3,000m in both the indoor and outdoor U18 championships and took gold in the 2,000m steeplechase outdoors. He won the Alberta Schools intermediate 5km title and was named St. Joseph’s junior male athlete of the year.

He also won the 3,000m at the Alberta Summer Games while finishing second in the Tri-Prov Western Canadian Championships 3,000m and 2,000m steeplechase. He was fourth at the Legion National U18 championships in the 2,000m steeplechase.

Already this year he won the 3,000m and 1,500m at the Alberta indoor championships and was 20th out of 97 runners in the two-mile race at the Simplot Games in Idaho.

“That was a great experience … it was good to compete against runners from other countries,” he said.

Howse has always been interested in distance running and feels his strong suit is cross-country.

“I enjoy running outdoor, on the trails,” he said.

He added he enjoys competing on the track as well with the steeplechase his favorite.

“I like it because it’s something different,” he said. “I like how competitive it is and it’s challenging with the jumps, especially the water jump.”

As for his future, Jared has talked with a number of universities in the States.

“We’ve talked a bit … it’s just started,” he said. “From what I understand it’s not a full ride, so that makes it tough. Plus there’s some good opportunities in Canada to not only run, but get my education. I hope to get into computer science and the University of Alberta, Queens and Simon Fraser have good programs.”

Jared is also a member of the Alberta Sports Development Centre — Central.

“It’s a benefit,” he said. “There’s a lot of good information especially on the mental side, which is extremely important in dealing with the pain and with competition.”

Howse likes to know his competition and set a race strategy.

“I’ve went out and tried to run away from the pack, or at times sit back and try to take over in the final laps … it depends on who you’re up against,” he said. “I can still work on my speed a bit but I feel I do have a kick.”

Jared will compete in the 1,500 and 3,000m and possibly the 800m in the high school meets over the next couple months. He also has a number of bigger events planned for the season, including the Tri-Prov Westerns and Western Canadian Summer Games in Swift Current.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and Alberta Sports Hall of Fame member who can be reached at danrode@shaw.ca

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