Athlete of the Week: Mike Hayden

PV cross country runner has high aspirations for upcoming Meet of Champions

BJ McGrane, Sports Writer

Name: Mike Hayden

Sport: Boys Cross Country

Grade: Senior

The Lowdown: Hayden made it to the Bergen Meet of Champions, which take place next weekend, as an individual qualifier because he recently ran his personal best time of 17:30. Hayden was also named a Second Team All-League member this year.

Expectations: Hayden has high hopes that his team will perform well in the Bergen Meet of Champions, saying, “We hope that we can run our best races next Saturday.”

What He Likes Most About His Sport: Hayden says that he likes the sense of family throughout the team. “Everyone is choosing to do a sport that’s a little unorthodox. People go to high school and they probably expect, if they want to do a sport, [they say], ‘Oh, I want to play football.’ Or, ‘Oh, I want to play soccer.’”

Proudest Moment Running XC: For Hayden, his proudest moment from cross country was last weekend, when he ran his fastest ever time and made it to the Meet of Champions. Also, Hayden mentioned that he was especially proud of his team last season because the cross country team had a very successful year.

Funniest XC Moment: Hayden says that coming back from meets are his favorite and funniest moments with his teammates. “But on the way back, especially if it’s late at night and we’re all exhausted, it just becomes a party.”

What He Likes About Running: Hayden was convinced to start running track in 8th grade, and was convinced to join cross country in his freshman year at PV. “I didn’t like it at all at first” he said. “But then you start to appreciate the sport, and you get better, and you bonds with your teammates, and that’s a fun time.” Hayden went on to say, “It’s just the accomplishment of when you run faster than you ever have before.” He described the feeling of accomplishment in cross country as a “unique feeling.”

His Favorite Track Season: Hayden runs for Pascack Valley during all three seasons: cross country in the fall and track in the winter and fall. Cross country is his favorite.

Favorite Actor/Actress: Tom Hanks

Favorite Movie: Star Wars: A New Hope

Favorite Music Artists: The Dooby Brothers

Favorite Song: “Free Ride” by Edgar Winter

Favorite Teacher: Ms. Kosch (PV History Teacher)

Favorite Subject: Physics

Favorite Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Favorite Food: Buffalo Chicken

Favorite Season: Fall

Favorite TV Show: Parks and Recreation

Favorite Pro Athlete: Adam Henrique

Favorite Animal: Dogs

Four People Living Or Dead He Would Invite To A Dinner Party: Adam Henrique, Andrea Pirlo, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and David Bowie

What He Does In His Free Time: Play frisbee for a club team

One Thing People May Not Know: He plays piano

Any Role Models: In life, his role models are his brothers who are 12 and 16 years older than him. In track, his role model is his coach, Mr. John Murtaugh.

Future Plans: Hayden will be studying computer engineering in college, and he is going to play frisbee in his college years and professionally.

Dream Vacation Spot: Italy