FRANKLIN — Clayton Brumfield picked an ideal time to start winning again.
After four successful years of running track and cross-country at Eastern Hancock, Brumfield has continued to make a name for himself at Franklin College.
Brumfield, a freshman, won the 1-mile race at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 18 at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
The win, which helped him earn All-HCAC honors, was Brumfield’s first collegiate victory.
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This season during the indoor track season, the freshman also participated in the 1,600-meter relay, the 800-meter run, and the 3,000-meter run. During the outdoor season, which is closing in, Brumfield said he will run the 800-meter, the 1,500-meter and the 5,000-meter races.
His recent success wasn’t out of the blue, however. Brumfield was named to the all-conference team during Franklin College’s cross-country season, too, while earning freshman of the year honors.
As a senior at Eastern Hancock, Brumfield won the 800-meter run at the Mid-Hoosier Conference meet and was third in the 1,600-meter.
The Daily Reporter caught up with Brumfield to talk about the indoor track season and his running success at Franklin College so far.
DR: How has college running been different than high school so far?
CB: The amount of miles I am putting in each week has a been a very big difference for me. I am running a lot more than I did in high school. It has helped me become faster. Also, having an indoor conference (season) has been something that keeps you motivated while training in the winter.
DR: Did you lead the whole race in your conference win or did you have a routine strategy that worked for you?
CB: I sat in third and fourth the majority of the race. I felt really good so I knew I had a shot. With about 600 meters to go in the race, I made my move and led the rest of the way. My final time was 4:25. I typically like to stay in the middle of the pack and make my move near the end of the race. It’s not necessarily waiting until the final 600 meters, but whenever I’m in a straightaway and feel the confidence to make a burst of acceleration. In the conference race it was around 600 meters because I wanted to be the runner to make the first move that everyone had to react to.
DR: In what ways have you improved since running at Eastern Hancock?
CB: Since coming to Franklin College and running cross-country, I am able to run longer distance races. I feel a lot stronger as a runner throughout races. The workouts in college have been tailored for me and the event I am running that week.
DR: Is there anything you learned in high school that you still use today?
CB: When I was a sophomore and junior in high school, my coaches would always tell me not to look back in races. I didn’t listen — until it lost me a race. I haven’t looked back in a race since my junior year.
DR: What are some of your goals moving forward at Franklin and for next season?
CB: My goal as I continue running at Franklin College is to become the fastest I can be.