HR Pod: Seth Norder, Nolan Clark, Will Hewitt

Photo by Miles Postema.
  • Seth Norder (front) and Nolan Clark (Bib 4) are two of the fastest high school runners in Michigan.

Seth Norder, Nolan Clark and Will Hewitt joined me in conversation for Episode 32. Seth and Nolan represent Grand Haven High School in Michigan and are two of the fastest runners in the state. They had incredible performances at the Division 1 state track meet on June 4 in Rockford, Michigan. Seth finished second in the 1600 meters with a time of 4 minutes, 7.99 seconds (4:07.99). Nolan finished fourth in the 3200 meters with a time of 9:08.74. They were also part of the Grand Haven 4×800 relay team that broke the school record at the state meet — the first Grand Haven 4×8 team to go under eight minutes. Seth and Nolan talk about the state meet in detail, their high school careers so far, team culture, summer miles and goals for 2022 cross country. I then welcomed Will on the pod to get a coaching perspective. Will is one of Seth and Nolan’s coaches, and he shares thoughts on Grand Haven running and what it’s like to coach two of the best high school runners in Michigan.

This episode is sponsored by Sportwatch. Sportwatch is a team management app built by former athletes for track and cross-country coaches. View team performance, track athlete growth and much more all from the convenience of your phone. Ditch the clipboard and pick up Sportwatch! Learn more at sportwatch.us.

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No. 82, Revisited—4th Visit [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

Right: “I’m much more of a veteran now, like I understand pacing. The first year, I didn’t know how to pace. I just went out full speed ahead and just hoped for the best and tried to cling on. But now I understand that pacing is a big importance. You gotta distribute it, you know?”

No. 82, Revisited—3rd Visit [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“I go out by myself sometimes [on easy runs], and I’m just thinking through my mind like, ‘Why am I running? What keeps me going for this?’ I’m still really unsure about it. It’s weird—a weird feeling. But I like it. I like running, but at the same time, I don’t. It’s back and forth, like yin-yang. That’s what running is.”

No. 82, Revisited [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“During my freshman year, which was last year, I didn’t know anybody since it was my first year coming into high school, and I didn’t have any friends who would run cross-country. It was weird, since it was mostly just focusing on myself. But then I got to meet some of the seniors, who were really kind to me and really cool, really nice to me and everything. I kind of joined their group, and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason why I’m still here today running cross-country—because of the team.”

No. 117 [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“Turner Sale is the one that really influenced me in running, because my freshman year, it was my first time running, and he really just motivated me. He told me what to do, like how to get prepared for meets and all that. Whenever we had a race, he always pushed me to beat the guy in front of me. One time he was yelling at me [in the final 100 meters], and I beat about three or four guys.”

Nos. 115 & 116, Revisited [Runners]

Photo by Will Hewitt
Photo by Will Hewitt

Left: “On the bus rides back, [the Trap House Runners] are hanging out, sitting with each other, talking about our race, giving each other advice, talking about injuries you might have, soreness. It’s kind of like a family among the team. … Couple of guys on the team, this is their first year, so it was the older guys giving them advice; don’t go out too fast your first mile, or make sure you have small steps going up the hill, or how to navigate a course that’s really tough.”