Jacob Voss began his running career at Seymour Middle School, so there was little doubt that he would be a member of the cross-country and track and field teams at Seymour High School.
Voss has been a regular participant in the mile and two-mile this spring, and gives a slight nod to the 3,200 as his favorite.
“When you’re running the (3,200), it’s eight laps and people may think that’s really long, but after the fourth lap I think ‘I have one more giant lap,’” Voss said. “The mile is really fast. I think I have more of an advantage in the two mile.
“My first mile (in a recent meet) was a 5-minutes, 3-seconds, which is all right. But my second mile was a 5:21, which is not too good.”
He said he likes to run both miles between 5:10 and 5:15.
Voss said he’d like to get off to a faster start in the mile.
“One thing I’ve learned is that I need to be more aggressive when I go out,” he said. “I need to go out faster. I’m not used to that because since my freshman year I’ve been used to moderately fast, but not too fast.
“I don’t like going out really fast in the first lap because I really don’t want to be the one setting the pace. It’s scary. (In the two mile) I want to stay with the leader. If I can set the pace I will set the pace. It’s not as scary as the mile, though.”
Voss said mental preparation is important for him before a meet.
“I try not to talk to anybody, just listen to music, and just concentrate,” he said.
The boys’ track sectional is held at Bedford tomorrow, and Voss said that is where he ran his mile personal record in the sectional last year.
He said running cross-country as a freshman was a big change for him, going from 1.5 miles in middle school to 3.1 in high school.
“I could barely run five miles with the team, but I started building up my running and I could run 5-10 miles,” Voss said. “ It was a challenge.”
Voss, who was the Owls’ No. 1 runner the last two seasons, said, “I tried to stay with the first pack depending on what race it was. It didn’t matter how I felt as long as I gave it my best.
“I tried to go out with a 5:10 or 5:15, no more than 5:20. If I did that I would have to have a negative split the next mile. The second mile I tried to stay between 5:30 or 5:45 or better. My strategy was to pass as many people as I could on the last mile.”
His career-best was 16:28.4, at Brown County.
“It’s one of my favorite courses,” Voss said. “It’s so familiar. It’s really a benefit running on flat courses. It has a few hills, but not bad.”
He advanced to the regional and semistate four straight years with all those races being at Brown County.
Voss, who was the Owls’ most valuable runner the past two years, said after his sophomore year he had mixed emotions about wanting to be the Owls’ No. 1 runner.
He said the main thing he enjoyed about cross-country was the atmosphere.
“The family, how we all love each other,” Voss said. “It’s just a really fun sport, team bonding is real good. The races were fun.”
He won the Batesville Invitational the past two years.
Voss said he working hard in practice is key.
“I feel like practicing is really critical,” he said. “Whatever you run in practice is the same effort you put in at an actual meet.”
He said you have to stay strong mentally, and you have to fight through minor pains.
“(In a recent meet) I was hurting for a little bit, but you’ve just got to get over that,” Voss said. “You’ve just got to push yourself. It’s easy to say than actually do it.”
He considers it an honor to attend SHS.
“I liked playing in the band,” Voss said. “I’ve had a lot of fun times. It’s been challenging academically. Musically, it was pretty challenging, too. I’ve just had a lot of people around me that have helped me.”
I’m going to try to remember my victories and wins. I’ll think about my friends, my teachers, my family that motivated me, and the atmosphere I’ve been around. Seymour is a wonderful town.”
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Name: Jacob Voss
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Brenda and Earl Voss
Siblings: Sam, Betsy, Maggie, Elen, Ben, Joe, Josh, Jacob, Mollie, Rachel, Sarah, Stephen, Andrew, Laura, Abby
Sports: track and field 4 years, cross-country 4 years
Athletic honors: CC: 4-time regional and semistate qualifier, two-time Batesville Invite champion, two-time most valuable runner, 2016 Hoosier Hills Conference champions, 2014 Newcomer Award; track: three-time sectional champions, three-time regional qualifier, 2016 HHC champion in 3,200.
Organizations: band, choir, Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Plans after high school: attend college
Favorite food: Asian
Favorite TV show: The Office