College Bound: Mitchell Hopf

Herald File Photo by Brittney Lohmiller
Heritage Hills senior Mitchell Hopf committed to running track and cross country collegiately at Indiana State University last Friday. Fellow Patriot alum Noah Hufnagel also is a runner for the Sycamores.

A Q&A with Heritage Hills senior Mitchell Hopf who will be running track and cross country in college for Indiana State University.

What was the biggest factor into your decision to play sports collegiately? Ever since I fell in love with running, I knew that I wanted to compete collegiately — it was an easy choice for me to want to continue my career. My love for the sport is definitely the biggest factor in my decision.

What stood out about Indiana State University and what made you choose that school over others you visited? A lot stood out about Indiana State — first, I felt like I clicked really well with both Coach (Kyle) Walsh and the team which was really important to me, I really didn't feel that connection anywhere else. I also felt that the training program used by Coach Walsh was well suited fo rme, I think it will help take me to the next level. As for the school itself, I felt like I was at home on campus from the moment I first arrived. Indiana State also has great programs in two majors I am considering, exercise science and education.

During your time at Heritage Hills, who or what do you feel most prepared you for playing sports in college? Personally, I think that I have learned the most about competing at the next level from track coach Nick Waninger who also competed at the Division I level in the mid-2000s. I've learned a lot about what to expect from him in terms of training and competition among other things, and I know that he will be huge in helping me make the transition to much higher volume training next summer.

What was your biggest accomplishment during your time at Heritage Hills? It's hard to pick one particular moment, but I think that my first trip to the state finals was huge for me because also my first time being on the big stage. It was also a solid accomplishment because of how much I developed between my sophomore and junior years.

If you could describe your high school athletic experience in one word, what would it be? Electrifying.

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