Athlete Spotlight | Clay Lewis


Photo E. Draper

Emily Draper, Staff Writer

Clay Lewis joined the Robinson cross country team his freshman year. Now a junior, his passion for long-distance running continues to grow.

“I have been doing cross country for three years,” says Lewis. “I am currently on varsity.”

Lewis was moved up from JV to Varsity at the beginning of this season.

“It is very gratifying to be on varsity because all of my hard work is being represented now,” he says. “There is a lot of pressure on you to do your best, though, because every second matters during a race.”

Lewis runs 5ks at his cross country meets. His PR, or personal record, is 19:31. He states that he enjoys the meets and that they are very energetic, yet exhausting.

“The meets are very fast-paced, and a lot of energy surrounds everyone during the actual races,” he says. “Before and after the race, I have time to chill out and focus, but during the race, it is very energetic.”

Lewis says his favorite part of each meet is being able to finally show off the hard work he has put into his training.

“You get to see all the schools at the meet and what they have to offer. I like being able to see how I rank in comparison to the other schools.

Coach Altimari pushes his team to be their best. Lewis, however, appreciates the tough side to his coach.

“His coaching style is regimented. He is strict, but he has his reasons because he gets very good results from it. He is not satisfied with the bare minimum, and he makes everyone give 100 percent at all times,” he says.“He makes us run on the weekends. There is no escaping the running.”

Lewis hopes to continue running throughout his life.

“I still enjoy running, and, if I get good enough, I would want to continue in college, and at least through my senior year [of high school],” Lewis says.

Lewis says he enjoys the daily challenges running and cross country bring him.

“I like running. It is one of the only things I am good at. My favorite part is the improvement I make every time I run. I get to test myself and see how I am working hard each time I run.”