Runner Asher Mattox awaits workout instructions from his high school cross country coach, Drew Perraut. Asher runs cross country to keep in shape for the track season.
Living within a mile of his high school and having no driver’s license, Asher often walks to school. He gets up earlier than most students, especially if he has a 6 a.m. practice.
Asher runs the eighth of 10 sprint intervals at early morning practice. Asher trains twice most days, both times on the track. “I literally wake up, get dressed, and get out the door for the 6 a.m. practices,” Asher says.
Asher works to perform well in school in hopes in hopes of qualifying for college athletic scholarships.
After school, Asher and his girlfriend, Harley Frazier, relax while taking turns playing a video game.
Asher leads The Bourbon County High School cross country team on a warm-up run. “We usually do a mile warm-up and then dynamic stretches,” he says.
Asher and Bryce Watkins enjoy a joke from teammate Jesus Mendoza. Bryce, a college freshman at the University of Kentucky, often helps out with the team.
Coach Perraut has the team circle around and stretch together before running a light hill workout. “I want you guys to go slow on the uphill and faster on the downhill,” the coach says. “Do three loops. Let’s go!”
Asher runs an easy three miles to keep his heart rate high to prepare for an upcoming state meet. “I want you to be fresh for this meet,” his coach says. “We haven’t raced a meet fully fresh.”
Asher decorates his room with racing bibs. “I’m hoping that by the end of next year, I can have enough to wrap all the way around the room,” he says.
After eating breakfast with the cross country team, Asher begins his walk home.