Sports Spotlight: Evan Sayler goes the distance

BISMARCK, N.D. - Being involved in sports keeps athletes in high school busy. When you’re also involved in a number of clubs and student activities, it makes for one lively school year.

Running cross country is all about endurance. That's something Evan Sayler has. While running isn't for everybody, it came to Evan through trial and error between sports. "I did basketball, like first, second and third grade, but I was never a big sports guy, and so I guess running, it was just kind of one of those things that just happened."

And it happened to be something he stuck with. Evan was introduced to cross country in elementary school through Bismarck Parks and Rec. When he first started running, he wasn't that interested, and he says he wasn't all that great. But the more he ran, the more that passion grew.

"It's something that like, grows. I mean, of course when you're a freshman too, you don't, I didn't have as much of a passion for it, and I didn't have a lot of motivation or determination and everything. But that kind of forms throughout the years, especially these past couple of years, it's definitely, cross country has become a big part of my life," said Evan.

And he's done big things so far in his high school career. He's competed in state twice while preparing for his 3rd appearance this year, and helped the Century Patriots win their first cross country championship last season. While he might not have seen all this success coming in the past, it's something he'll be looking back on in the future.

"It's not something that I would have expected, even in middle school, I would not have expected to get this far, so it's one of those things that for me, it's one of those big accomplishments. Something that I'll be able to look back on when I'm older someday," said Evan.

That will be in the future, right now, head coach Brad Lies considers him your, "proto-typical student athlete", who's very dedicated. "He's probably not the most talented kid that I've ever coached, but he's one of the kids that have worked the hardest, and he's made himself into one of the top runners in the, I'd say, upper Midwest," said Leis.

Evan is the number one ranked individual in Class-A, while keeping a 3.95 GPA. He's been able to do all of this while being involved in much more, than out on the course.

"I'm President of the student council, I'm involved in music, both choir and band. And all that, of course academics too, I mean, all that, trying to balance it out all, can be really hard, but it's definitely worth it in the end. I love, I have a passion for all those things, so it's just one of those things that, if you love it, do it," said Evan.

And another thing Evan really loves, is music. Evan will run up in Williston this Saturday in the WDA Cross Country meet.