Other Varsity Sports

Getting to know Southeast’s Jeff Masood

Southeast High cross country runner Jeff Masood works out Tuesday at his high school. (Sept. 18, 2012)
Southeast High cross country runner Jeff Masood works out Tuesday at his high school. (Sept. 18, 2012) The Wichita Eagle

Jeff Masood

Southeast cross country

Masood, a junior at Southeast, has his sights on a top-10 finish in the Class 6A cross country meet next month. Masood, who finished fourth at the Southeast Invitational on Sept. 15 with a 5-kilometer time of 16 minutes, 45 seconds, finished 16th in 6A in 2011.

There seems to be a camaraderie among cross country athletes, even if they are on opposing teams. Is there a different mentality than other sports?

“We do want to win, but we don’t talk back to each other or put each other down. The North team, I’m really familiar with them, they’re my competition and I want to beat them. But we go up to each other and say good luck because we now how hard it is.”

How much mental strength is needed in cross country?

“It takes a lot of will power, for one. When you’re running, you get extremely tired, but you can’t stop or you’ll lose the race. You have to have the willpower to keep going and push yourself past your comfort zone and keep going until you finish.”

Have you always had that mental strength?

“Well, initially back in middle school, not so much. If I’d get tired, I’d slow down. I developed it in high school where the races were more serious, they were against faster people. I’d go harder even when I’m tired, and I’d keep improving.”

What careers are you contemplating?

“Oh, that’s a tough one. Right now I’m taking engineering classes in school, so I’m looking at aerospace at (Wichita State). That’s probably my main focus right now, but I’ll probably look into it more later on.”

What fascinates you about aerospace?

“Planes, rockets, space shuttles, all the stuff that flies. I like fighter jets a lot. It’s cool how they can maneuver and do the combat situations. My dad is in aerospace engineering, so he tells me some stuff. And I like to build things, like anything. If it’s furniture, putting something together or a model of a car or a plane…. (My interest in building) started out with Legos and little castle pieces and putting them together.”