Last season, Haefele had his best career 8k time, 25:03.39, finishing in 23rd place at the Western Athletic Conference Championship in Logan, Utah. This year, the third year Spartan has had two top-20 finishes in five races. At the San Francisco State Invitational on Oct. 10, he had his best result of the year, a 12th place finish, leading the team to third-place overall.
The native of Orange, Calif., is a graduate of Villa Park High School where he also lettered in track and field. While in high school Haefele was honored as a Two-time All-League Century pick in cross country.
He believes none of his success would be possible without self-discipline. “No one understands how much preparation is involved going into a race. If I tell someone my race is five miles, they say ok’. However, when they ask how far I run each day to get ready for that race and I tell them about 12 or 13 miles, they’re always amazed,” said the junior English major.
Athletic and academic dedication is a common theme among members of the team. Head coach Augie Argabright puts just as much of an emphasis on academic performance as athletic accomplishment. Last year eight members of the team were honored as Academic All-WAC student-athletes. “Working hard is kind of the common personality trait of everyone on the team,” said Haefele. “We work hard when preparing for a race, and that mentality is also shown when performing in the classroom.”
Although some spectators may think of cross country as an individual sport, where each runner’s success is achieved independently, Haefele believes participating in the sport gives you a different perspective.
“Teamwork is a big factor in cross country. If you don’t work as a team you can get in over your head. Your teammates are the only way to really judge how fast you’re going in a race, since they’re the only ones you always run with,” said Haefele. “We’re not necessarily competing with one another but competing to get better.”
As Haefele and his teammates ready themselves for the upcoming WAC Championship on Nov. 1 in Las Cruces N.M., he hopes that team mentality and Argabright’s positive outlook will be rewarded.
“Coach is a really positive person and that has an impact on each one of us,” said Haefele. “If we run as well as we can, I’d like for us to have a top-five finish.”
2008-09 Friday Features
September 19 - David Richmond, Football
September 26 - Yonus Davis, Football
October 3 - Hiroki Akiyama, Men's Soccer
October 10 - Homecoming Spartan Style
October 17- Jessica Ingram, Women's Soccer
October 24 - Coye Francies, Football
October 31 - David Haefele, Men's Cross Country