In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior athletes, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!
By Lucas Walters
Austin Montini is a member of Oak Hall’s Boys Cross Country Team!
A – Advice you’d give your freshman-self? If there was something I could tell my freshman self I’d probably say to just give it your best effort and then accept the outcome, whatever it is. Just as long as you know you’ve done everything you possibly can.
B – Best pre-race meal? My brother would tell you mac and cheese, but I got to go with the peanut butter toast.
C – Coach’s best words of advice? Coach Mac is a man of few words. His best words of advice are probably just “run fast” honestly.
D – Favorite dessert? The Pizookie at BJ’s is really good but Outback’s Chocolate Thunder from Down Under is also amazing, so I guess it’s a tie.
E – Most entertaining practice? Every day is an entertaining practice with our team but all the ones before state are pretty fun, where you do all the dress-ups. Especially the day where the girl’s team dresses up as us and we dress up as the girls team. We’ve had some pretty fun ones where some of the girls team is dressed up as Coach Mac and those are probably the best ones every year.
F – Favorite high school athletic moment? Probably my favorite moment was this past year when our team came runner-up at state again and I won the individual championship. It was just a really great day and everything kind of came together well. I mean, we’re still going for that [overall] state championship, but it was a good first step.
G – Goals for your senior season? For my senior season, my personal goals are to win state again in cross country, and then in track, honestly, I got to bring down some of the records so that my brother has a tougher time meeting them in the next couple years. It’s basically, low 4s in the mile, low 150s in the half, low 9s or under in the two mile. This is all running stuff, but I mean I’m just excited that we’re running again and hopefully our team can win a team state championship too, which would be absolutely amazing.
H – Hoping to attend (which college)? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I mean, I’ve had a lot of interests. I’ve been very fortunate to have quite a few offers and I’m still looking to make that decision and hopefully I’ll have an answer for you by October-something.
I – Interesting thing about you away from [insert sport]? There’s definitely a number of takeaways. I mean, probably one of the best ones for me at least has been learning how to lose. I mean, we’ve gone from our program being – Well we’ve improved a lot over the years, especially in those beginning years. We lost a lot and it’s just good to lose and just go out there and give it your all and just not win honestly. It’s a very humbling experience, so now that we’re actually good we can appreciate all that hard work that’s gone into it and look back on those early years with fondness.
J – Favorite joke? I mean, I could tell you our favorite jokester on the team. We have quite a few people that think they’re jokesters and some that actually are which is kind of funny, but I mean a lot of the guys on the team are actually pretty funny. The best jokes are probably happening right before or right after practice when we’re all just hanging out as a group and just talking about whatever, whether it’s school or Star Wars or I don’t know, the number of other things we talk about. There’s a number of pretty funny Star Wars jokes, I’ll tell you that much.
K – Keys to maintaining homework? It’s very about balance and communication with your teachers. For me especially I mean, the online this year has actually been kind of awesome so far because it allows me to kind of move around all my work and work on things when I really need to and kind of save things for later that I don’t need to be working on, rather than being stuck in class. Just communication with your teachers ahead of time on what you’re gonna be missing and what you need to have done when and kind of having that clear expectations set up is really helpful. And then just sleep, sleep is very important. Getting to bed on time for me is 10:30 every night pretty much. I cannot function with less hours of sleep because of what I do with the running, so the sleep is critical. I mean, there’s no doing four hours a night or whatever, I have to get at least eight or nine [hours].
L – Least favorite practice drill? I don’t know that I have a least favorite drill, but I do have a least favorite time to do them, and that’s in the super-hot middle of the day. I don’t care what we’re doing but if we’re doing it in the middle of the day then it is not pleasant.
M – Music you listen to? I’m kind of all over the place with music. I listen to a lot of – Well, some 80s, not as much anymore, some pop and modern music, not very much rap. Just kind of random songs that strike my interest.
N – Netflix or Hulu? Netflix, because [of] Stranger Things.
O – Outside hobbies (other than your sport)? I really like to draw, and I think Mr. Ponzio has been really helpful in kind of, making me more creative, I guess. I mean, definitely doing engineering and design last year was really fun and interesting. It’s a different class than what I’ve done before, especially making the bridges and using the West Point Bridge Designer software. It was just a neat class that I found myself doing work for not at school which is always something that is kind of fun to do. I mean, I like to draw. I do a lot of comic book drawings and that kind of thing but Mr. Ponzio is trying to get me to do some more creative work with – I specialize with brush work and that kind of thing, so I do – Everything is about the different marks and how that shows emotion throughout the piece.
P – Preparations for a big race include? Oh man, our pre-race mornings are interesting. My brother and I have to get up at like – some mornings as early as 3 a.m. to eat. We have to eat three hours out so that everything is digested, and you can actually feel good while you’re running and not have your breakfast make a reappearance. But anyway, we just have to wake up really early and eat and then – it’s just a few pieces of bread, or peanut butter toast, or sometimes fried rice, or mac and cheese like I mentioned, but most of the time peanut butter toast. Then we’ll go back to bed and sleep until we have to wake up to get on the bus at like 4:45-5:00 [a.m.] and then we’re off to the meet.
Q – Question you would ask your future self? I don’t know I’m more focused on the present right now and just finishing out senior year, but… I’ve got a good one, “Did we win the cross-country state championship, did we do it?”.
R – Most relaxing part of your day? The running is probably the most relaxing part of the day if it’s like a nice long I can just clear my mind and kind of just focus on running, and just kind of let everything I was focused on during the day just kind of fade into the distance I guess.
S – What would your senior superlative be? I feel like I’m a pretty well-rounded person, so I mean maybe something for that?
T – Favorite TV show? Stranger Things is pretty awesome, that’s a pretty great show. The Office is good too though…The Office is really good.
U – Most underrated pet? I guess an otter. Otters are like cute little sea dogs I guess, like swim around and do tricks.
V – Favorite vacation spot? I kind of like to go to different places so I mean, I guess my favorite vacation spot would be someplace new or someplace that I have never been before.
W – What does it mean to you to be an Eagle? Being an Eagle has been really great. I feel like it’s given me the opportunities to pursue many different interests of mine, whether it be the arts, or music, or running, or JCL. I feel like I don’t have to sacrifice between each of those and I still feel like I can live a normal life while doing all those other things and I think it’s been really great and I’ve had great resources in those areas that have allowed me to achieve the things that I’ve been able to and I’m just thankful for the opportunity. I hope I can look back on this experience and just not have any regrets about my time at Oak Hall.
X – Any X-rays? No, I have had no broken bones, thank gosh.
Y – Your impact to the younger athletes on the team? Oh man, I hope that over the years we’ve kind of built up the cross-country and track programs to the point where we’re getting people that come out to the sport and just have a good time, and kind of just do the best they can do and progress as a runner. I’m really happy with the younger kids that we have on the team right now. I feel like as long as they just come out and give a good effort and just do what they’re capable of, I feel like it’s a really great experience. It’s just fun to have some younger guys out on the team because it’s really unique what we have at Oak Hall where we literally have 6th and 7th graders running on varsity which is kind of crazy and you don’t really see that anywhere else. I mean, it’s been great to kind of get to know them and have them get to know us and it’s just kind of cool to see that between the high school and the middle school.
Z – Favorite zoo animal? The otter.