Running for success

Cross country captain Jeremiah Hudson commits to Jackson State University


Senior Jeremiah Hudson runs a 5K at the MileSplit TX cross country invitational meet on Saturday, Sept. 14. Courtesy of Austin Hohl.

The sun is at its peak in the sky. It beams down on his skin as he feels the urge to give up. His breathing is unsteady and his body is drenched with sweat. “I’m almost there,” he says to himself, “just a little more.” Each leg begins to go numb as he lifts them to take his next steps. His body is exhausted but with the finish line in sight, a surge of energy comes forth from within him and he finishes the race.

Senior Jeremiah Hudson, committed to Jackson State University on Friday, Nov. 15 to run cross country; he was awarded a full-ride scholarship. He began running cross country because of a suggestion from a coach to try it after he noticed Hudson’s above-average stamina.

“I started running cross country during my junior year of high school,” Hudson said. “So [I’ve been running] for about two years.”

Running cross country was different from what Hudson expected. He had to become acquainted with a new team. Before running cross country, he played other sports including basketball and track. 

“My first year running cross country, there were a bunch of seniors on the team,” Hudson said. “At first I thought I wasn’t going to be good at it but they helped me and pushed me.”

His talents didn’t go unnoticed by others either. He received offers from five historically black colleges and universities. After much thought and consideration, he made his choice.

“I had offers from Prairie View, Grambling, Mississippi Valley State, Alcorn and Jackson,” Hudson said. “I went to visit Alcorn before I went to visit Jackson. After I visited Alcorn, they had offered me a full ride. Then I went to visit Jackson and they offered me a full ride. After talking about it with my mom, I committed to Jackson.”

As captain of the cross country team, Hudson is tasked with leading the team to get better, trying to support his teammates however he can. Senior Jose Rodriguez is one of those teammates he has helped improve.

“He’s [helped] me with strengthening my skills by giving me encouragement and positivity,” Rodriguez said. “It helps keep me going when I’m tired.”

Hudson’s upbeat and happy demeanor affects those around him. He lifts the mood, getting rid of any tension or worry that may be in the air. Head cross country coach Heather Hanchack-moss has seen Hudson’s growth and how he affects others.

“He is like a son to me and it has been a blessing to be able to coach him,” Moss said. “He always knows how to make [assistant coach Melissa Cook and me] smile and laugh. I know I can count on him to be a leader and problem solve when necessary. He has helped me grow as a coach and gain more appreciation for our distance athletes.”

Running 50 to 60 miles a week, Hudson is glad to see his hard work has paid off. His teammates, coaches and family have been his biggest inspiration. Hudson aspires to become a great asset to Jackson and wants to win the freshman newcomer of the year award.

“I felt great [when I learned I was accepted] because I know college is expensive and I didn’t want my mom to pay for all that,” Hudson said. “I got two other siblings at the house so I want her to focus on them whenever I leave and not worry about me. It’s just great to see all the hard work I did pay off.”