Running into the championships

Running into the championships

Eric Wong

With a fifth place finish in CCS, sophomore Kevin Bishop qualified to run in the 2009 California State Championships meet

 With just nine months of cross country experience at the high school level, sophomore Kevin Bishop has worked to become one of the fastest boys in MVHS history.  Before achieving the fastest time of any sophomore at this year’s CCS Division I finals for varsity boys, Bishop found himself in the record books for multiple courses during the regular season. At the CCS Division I Championship meet at Crystal Springs in Belmont, sophomore Kevin Bishop finished an impressive fifth place overall with a time of 15:30.  His time qualifies him for the State Championship meet at Woodward Park in Fresno.  Photo taken from Sports Image Wire.

He ran the second fastest time in the school’s history for the Central Park course and the Lynbrook course and the third fastest time for the Stanford Invitational course. Now having outpaced all the other runners from MVHS, he finds himself alone again this time as the lone representative at the 2009 State Cross Country Championships. 

As a sophomore, Bishop still has two more years to get even better.  Coach Jeff Payne believes Bishop can attain a higher level, especially with the maturity that he has shown so far. 

"For his personality, Bishop handles [pressure] well.  He seems to focus at the bigger competitions and even though its his first full year of running, he’s already pretty mature," Payne said. 

Bishop attributes his current success to the effort he has put in throughout the season. 

"One of my favorite things [about cross country] is that 90 percent of the race is over before you even begin, with all the mental and physical preparation that goes in.  How you prepare and get ready mentally [is what’s important]," Bishop said.  

While many people marvel at Bishop’s achievements in running, Bishop isn’t content with where he is yet. 

"Winning CCS would be a bigger goal [for me].  Everyone ahead of me was a senior so next year I’ll probably [have a good chance]," Bishop said.

Payne has been able to work with Bishop more as he was the only one that qualified for the state meet.  On certain days, Payne works with Bishop at locations like Stevens Creek Park for specific workouts but on other days, he gives Bishop more freedom to complete his general long distance runs to get in the necessary mileage.  Bishop works out about six days of a week, balancing his routines with club swimming practice. 

Bishop’s natural athleticism has lent itself well to cross country.  Having played a number of sports including volleyball and water polo, Bishop found himself picking running and swimming as the two activities that would best fit his busy schedule.  Both sports are aerobic, allowing many of the skills learned in swimming to be transferred over to running and vice versa. 

His teammate, senior Kranti Peddada, who qualified for the 2008 State Cross Country Championships finds it amazing that Bishop manages his time so well.  

"He has a great work ethic and he’s passionate about the sport.  It’s cool how he stays on top of things and it will help him go far," Peddada said.  

Bishop often looks at the national picture as a reminder that he still has a long ways to go if he wants to be the best.  Every day, he runs his hardest because he feels that its tough to live with the disappointment of knowing that he could have done better.  He refuses to let pain get in the way of his dreams, reminding himself that his sacrifices are worth it in the long run. 

With his quick ascent to the forefront of the high school cross country scene, Bishop hopes to prove himself at the 2009 State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on November 28.