Tanner Daines of Appleton North finished sixth in the WIAA Division 1 state cross country meet after winning a sectional title. He won four invitationals and was named Fox Valley Assocation boys’ runner of the year.
Family: Parents, Elisha and Jeff; sisters, Kylee and Kirsten; brother, Brendan.
Accomplishments: Finished sixth at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in a time of 16 minutes, 7.69 seconds at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids; won the sectional meet in 15:59.03 at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne; finished second at the Fox Valley Association meet in 16:00 at Countryside Golf Course in Kaukauna; took first place at the Seymour, Fond du Lac, Bay Port and Appleton West invitationals; was named FVA male runner of the year.
Q: What was your experience like at the state meet this year?
A: “I was kind of nervous going into it. I know my goals were to be around 16 minutes. I was hoping to be under 16 and I wanted to be on the podium. I knew there were a lot of great runners. I knew I would have to push harder in this race than I had ever before. I knew the course is a lot harder than any race I’d done all year.”
Q: With the difficult course and all of the fans, can it be overwhelming?
A: “I love the atmosphere. My sophomore and junior year, I kind of got lost in the shuffle, but this year I was a lot more focused. With the atmosphere being as intense as it was, it was exhilirating instead of distracting.”
Q: What is your overall feeling about how your season went?
A: “I’m pretty happy with it. I set goals for myself early in the season and also midseason goals. For the most part, I accomplished them and I’m really happy with how I did, especially at state. I knew that was my biggest goal and I knew it would be the hardest one to achieve and, thankfully, I was able to get it.”
Q: When you are running, what is usually going through your mind?
A: “Long runs are good times to think about everything in life. Let your stress out. As far as races go, I am a lot more focused on my pacing, which I also do in long runs, but in races it’s a lot more important because that can determine how the whole race goes. As oppoosed to looking at what other runners are doing — sometimes they may go out too fast or too slow — I have to have an internal clock and know what I want to do best.”
Q: When did you know or decide that distance running was for you?
A: “I had no idea that I would be a good runner until midway through my sophomore year. I had played soccer previous to this. When I didn’t make the soccer team my sophomore year, I decided to go out for cross country and had no idea how good or bad I might be. I just thought it would be fun. Throughout that season, I improved a lot and really gained an appreciation for running and, since then, I have become more passionate toward it.”
Q: Runners sometimes — how should we say this — lose their lunch after crossing the finish line. How often has that happened to you?
A: “That actually has happened to me before. My sophomore year in track at conference, after the two-mile, is the last time that I puked after a race. It’s a terrible feeling. It’s tough. Being healthy helps a lot, and learning what’s best for you to eat and when to eat before your race helps.”
Q: Do you plan to run in college?
A: “My goal is to go to BYU (Brigham Young University). I, hopefully, want to run cross country and track there. They’re a very good school, as far as running goes. That’s my goal.”
“I think I’m going to have to say calculus. It’s just a very different way of looking at math. It’s tough but it’s really interesting. I also like Life Skills. We are working with people with special needs at our school. It’s a really fun and inspirational class to be in.”
“Spaghetti dinners with the team. Some nice fettuccine Alfredo, breadsticks and chocolate milk.”
“I really like ‘Psych.’ It’s a great show.”
Musical group or singer
“Definitely Rascal Flatts. I have about 100 songs on my iPad from them.”
Actor or actress
Thing to do when you’re not running
“If I ever have time, I like to just read. Spending time with my family is really enjoyable and relaxing, too.”
Annette Jadin, Appleton North coach: “Tanner sets great goals for himself and never loses sight of them. His training and preparation demonstrate his knowledge as a runner and his attention to detail. Tanner is an ambitious student leader on our team and at Appleton North High School. He strives to reach his own goals and always supports his teammates to reach their full potential as well. He is a talented runner and genuinely good person.”