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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022 3 days ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Brant Josephs

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Josephs recently placed third at the Mount Dora Christian Invitational.
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Windermere Prep senior and cross country athlete Brant Josephs recently placed third at the Mount Dora Christian Invitational. Josephs is the only senior on the boys cross country team and is excited to break his current PR of 16:54 on a 5K soon. 

Tell us about your years as an athlete.
I’ve been running since sixth grade. Coach Sharrod Williams is the one that told me that I should join the sport, and as soon as I heard that, after fifth grade, I joined. … Ever since I got to high school, I realized I was serious about the sport, because I had a few breakout races that showed me I was better than I thought I could be. 

Why cross country? 
I like the way you find yourself. It’s not a sport many people do; many say it’s their punishment. I think it’s a way to enjoy what you are given, because you are given two legs, and that’s all you need for the sport. You can use that to take you places that other sports can’t take you (to). Running is like self-improvement, basically. If you don’t have a good race, you can’t go back and change that. But you can use that to build and have a better race the next week.

What do you love most about competing? 
Competing is a way to show yourself that your hard work can pay off more than other people’s. People want to be the best, but they don’t want to put in the work to be the best. That’s why I like to compete and see what I did different to others and what made me better. 

What are some things unique to your running style? 
Sometimes, I think going to the race and expect pain and be scared of the pain, which is something I need to be better at. Instead of being scared of the pain, I need to learn to expect it and use that to push myself more.

Tell us a little bit about the Mount Dora Invitational and finishing third.
Building up the week before, coach (Devin) Bennett said it was going to be a tough race and that we shouldn’t worry about times. On race day, he took our watches and everything. He just wanted us to work hard compete and race against other people. Going into the race, I knew it was going to be a hard course, because it was two laps with three hills on each lap, which were very steep. I knew I’d have to stay at the front and front run for as long as I could. … Even my teammates said there was a point where they wanted to give up, but we knew that wasn’t an option. So we just had to push through and think about the reward, which in the end, we won. 

What’s your favorite part about being a part of the Lakers cross country team? 
I guess our team energy. A lot of the boys are really close to (one another). We always know when our friends are having a bad day, and we say to each other, ‘Let’s talk to him.’ We know what we are in for. … My teammates understand it’s my last year, so they said they want to do something not only for me but also for them — and get far. 

How do you prepare mentally for a meet? 
I think what I’m there for and that I want to do it for my teammates.

What’s your favorite time of the day to run? 
I love morning practices. … My teammates and I recognize there is more work made at that time, because there’s no heat. It’s nice to be up that early (5 a.m.), when you know other people are sleeping at that time and you are working. 

Who’s your favorite superhero? 
Spider-Man. He always wants to help people, and he doesn’t get anything out of it. 

If you had a superpower, which one would it be and why? 
Probably to fly, because you could get anywhere. You can go wherever you want whenever you want. 

What are your hobbies? 
I like anything outdoors: fishing, biking, swimming, going on boats. 

What are three places you would like to visit? 
Some of the top tropical islands with mountains like Bora Bora. South America — I’ve never been there. Probably some of the mountains in Canada. 

What are three things you would take to a deserted island? 
A fishing rod, snorkeling gear and water. 

College?
I want to stay in Florida, in the southeastern part of the country. Maybe FAU. But if I were to go outside of Florida, I want to go to Colorado, because there’s so many things to do there. UC Bolder has such a nice campus. 

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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