Student Athlete of the Week: East Central’s Christian Balcer

Over at East Central High School, this week’s Student Athlete of the Week distance runner Christian Balcer has been cruising past personal and state records in his four years of running both cross country and track for the Hornets.

However, records aren’t made and broken without a lot of hard work and dedication, two things Balcer has plenty of.

East Central Track and Field Coach Jason Law said, “He’s, Mr. ECHS. I mean he’s just as good in the classroom– I’ve had him in the classroom as well– he’s just as great in there as he is out here on the track.”

All year-round, East Central’s Christian Balcer can be found racing across Mississippi, whether it’s for cross country, indoor track season, or outdoor track season, all of which the distance runner holds at least one state record in. Law said, “He’s the hardest working kid I’ve ever coached. He’s got a ton of God-given ability, but he even works harder to make it even better.”

Balcer said, “You try to keep it as fun as you can, but some days you have to do the work to be able to have those PR’s and stuff.”

The senior has already set new personal records in the 800-meter, 1600 meter, and 3200 meter in the first three meets of his final outdoor track season with the Hornets. His most recent record-breaking performance happening Monday at the St. Patrick Invitational where Balcer set a personal and state record with a time of 4 minutes and 12. 41 seconds in the 1600 meter race. “I definitely need to take more time to like soak it in. A lot of people say I’m too hard on myself, but it’s nice. It’s a good feeling.”

The college-bound runner caught the running-bug while growing up participating in local 5K’s and running after soccer practice. When Balcer began running competitively in eighth grade and became one of Law’s student athletes he was: “A nervous ball of energy that I didn’t know if I was going to be able to deal with later on, but thank goodness he calmed down once he hit ninth grade. It’s been great ever since.”

His entire career as a Hornet, Balcer and his teammates have had to get creative, training in parking lots and fields due to ongoing construction for a new track facility. Despite the change in terrain, Balcer has loved every moment of being a student athlete at East Central High School and suiting up in the maroon and white. “I say most of it is not even the running. It’s all the practices and the bus rides and stuff. Those are the most fun parts and like hanging out. The running is just like a small part of it.”

Come August, Balcer will be blazing a trail to Mississippi College where he’ll be running both cross country and track for the Choctaws. “That’s been my dream ever since eighth grade year, because just seeing people like Chandler Underwood and Zack Dill and looking up to them and them being my teammates at one time and seeing what they’ve done in college and want to be like them.”

“If he works half as hard in college as he did in high school, he’ll be the best runner at Mississippi College for the next four years.”

Balcer’s ambitions for his running career don’t stop at the college level, he hopes to one day be competing in the Olympics.

If you know of anyone on the Coast that deserves to be featured as News 25 Student Athlete of the Week you can contact Grace Boyles via email at GBoyles@wxxv25.com or on Twitter @GraceBBoyles or on Facebook at Grace Boyles WXXV.

Categories: Sports, Student Athlete of the Week

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