Future Stars Spotlight: Jalen Chase

Jalen Chase (right) racing with New Town teammate Ryan Wheeling (left)

How did you first get started running and why?

I started running in 5th grade. I was actually going to join football until Dj LeBeau and Ryan Wheeling talked me into joining cross country and I've been running ever since.

What were your personal records heading into high school?

My best personal record before high school was a 17:29 in Rugby last year.

You’ve been running for a few years now. Did you increase your training/mileage this summer compared to past summers/did you do anything different in preparation for your freshmen cross country season?

Yes, I did increase my training this summer compared to last summer. Coach Anderson and Coach Hale had practice all summer long and we were running up to 10 miles each practice. I did put in a little extra running after practices to prepare for this cross country season too.

Jalen Chase in third in between two New Town teammates at North Dakota State Champs

You got to stand next in between two of your New Town teammates on the podium at the North Dakota State Championships. How special was it to have your teammates right next to you at States?

It was a very good feeling. We all pushed each other and worked really hard to do our best.

How did you feel like you competed at States? How does such a low finish at States as only a freshmen impact how you think about your future as a runner? 

I feel like I competed well. I pushed myself to get to the front and tried to stay there. It makes me feel good and makes me want to try harder to hopefully be the State XC Champion in the future.

You dropped a 15:55 at Becki Wells Invite in early September. What went on there to allow you to set such a big personal best? Did you think you had that in you?

The race just went really smooth for me. The course was really flat and those are the kind of courses I like. Before that race, my goal was a16:31 and I was very surprised that I broke a 16:00.

You got to be a part of the New Town XC State Champion team as a 7th and 8th grader? How much did you learn from your high school teammates as one of the youngest members on the team when you were in middle school?

When I was in middle school, I learned a lot from my high school teammates while running with them. One of the biggest things I learned was to start off easy in the beginning of a race, pick it up in the middle, and give it your all at the end.

Jalen Chase (jacket #31) and New Town team after Jalen's first team title as a 7th grader, 2012 

Explain how you felt after winning the third team state title in a row, but this time being the number two runner on the team and contributing greatly?

I felt like we achieved a big accomplishment and working with my teammates helped me get to this spot.

As I just mentioned, you were the second runner from your team at States behind Ryan Wheeling, who is only a sophomore. Do you feel like you and Ryan will be battling for some state titles in years to come? Is there a healthy rivalry going on with you and him?

I feel like one of us will be a future State XC Champion, it's just a matter of who works harder for it. I have learned a lot from Ryan over the years of us running together and we have the same mindset. I'm curious to see how the future cross country seasons go and what the outcomes will be because we're both aiming for the win.

This state champion team includes another freshmen and an 8th grader. On top of that, your team only graduates one guy from the top seven. How exciting is that for your team and what does it make you think about the program’s future?

It's very exciting and it makes me feel confident about the program's future because we have such a young team. Although we're going to miss Scotty after he graduates, we will continue to work hard for State Championship titles.

You got 3rd at North Dakota States in the 3200m this past Spring as an 8th grader, how did you respond to your performance in a field where the top 8 where only juniors and seniors except for your teammate Ryan?

I worked hard to prepare for that race. Knowing that I was running with a majority of juniors and seniors made me try even harder.

What are your plans and goals for the rest of the XC season, or are you finished?

I actually was invited to try out for the Wings of America XC team. I will run in the NXN Heartland Regional in Sioux Falls this weekend and if I do well, I can qualify for the team and we'll run in the USA Cross Country Championships in Boulder, CO on February 7th, 2015.

It can get cold up there in North Dakota, what does training look like for you and the team in the winter?

It gets very cold up here during the winter and the only option we have is to run indoors.

What is it like being on the same team and running with your brother? What are the positives and negatives (if you would even call them that)?

We're both there to push each other and do our best for the team.

Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you during your years running for New Town.

Coach Anderson knows when to train us easy and when to train us hard. He always gives the team good advice before races to help us. I like his attitude and I really look up to him.

When you graduate high school in 2018, what would you like to look back on and say that you accomplished with your high school running?

When I graduate, I would like to look back and say that I accomplished my goal of becoming the State XC Champion.

What is your top running moment in your life so far and why?

I would have to say that my top running moment so far is when I ran a 15:55 because that is a very big accomplishment for me.

Does your team have any fun traditions?

One thing you could call a tradition is when we huddle up before a race and wish each other good luck and encourage each other to do our best.

What are some other things you enjoy doing outside of running? Give us a little insight into the life of Jalen Chase away from the XC course and track.

Other things I like to do besides running is hanging out with my family, going on trips, watching football, shooting around and playing catch with my dad, and working with my brother, Joe, at Super Valu.

You’re a pretty big Seahawks fan. How excited were you when they made the Broncos look silly in the Super Bowl?

I was excited because it was the Seahawks first ever Super Bowl victory and I like rubbing it in everyone's face that said the Seahawks didn't have a chance. My dad has been a longtime Seahawks fan and it was good that he got to see them take the Super Bowl title when he witnessed them getting cheated out of it in 2006.

What is your favorite pre-race food?


Who is the biggest inspiration for you in the sport, why?

Jake Leingang because he didn't let anything hold him back from earning three straight titles.

Anything else you would like to add..?

I enjoy the sport of running. No other sport has given me this many opportunities at such a young age.