Epstein off to strong start for Raiders

Austin Epstein has placed high in his first three meets of the regular season, including winning two of the races he has competed in.

But from a time standpoint, the junior Navarre cross country runner isn’t exactly where he hoped to be.

“I consider it strange,” Epstein said. “I’m not really running better times than I did last year. It’s like I didn’t remember how to run fast. But I’m placing well. I can always be better. That is always the case.”

Esptein has paced the Raiders, taking first in the last two meets. He won the Mobile Challenge of Champions with a time of 17:11.5 but ran an 18:54 in a meet at Tiger Point in Gulf Breeze Thursday.

While he’s been pleased with the success, he is eager to improve on his performances.

“I’d like to get in the low 16’s if possible,” Epstein said. “Obviously, that is a challenge, but I’m going to continue to work at it.”

Epstein put in a lot of time and effort into his offseason workouts, raising the intensity a couple of notches compared to where it was a year ago.

“It’s all about mileage, mileage, mileage,” Epstein said. “Last summer, I did about six and a half miles a day. This summer, I bumped it up to seven or eight. I twisted my ankles a few times, but putting in the extra miles helped.”

Read the full story in the Sept. 17 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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