Orange Lutheran senior Noah Lockwood recalls having an interest in running at a young age, but it wasn’t until middle school when a coach saw potential in him that he joined the school’s track team. He has been running ever since and is a key component of the Lancers cross country and distance track programs.
As a sport that is grueling both mentally and physically, Lockwood finds joy in running through the connections he is able to make with his teammates.
“I like the people,” says Lockwood. “The people you get to see every day, you get to form really strong bonds and work together to compete. For me, it brings me into another place. When I’m running, I get this feeling of happiness. It feels good to do it.”
Another significant part of the sport for Lockwood is the opportunity to pay it forward by providing leadership and guidance to incoming freshmen runners.
“I try to do what I can to lead by example, but also encourage the younger athletes, especially when they feel like they can’t run this fast,” says the 17-year old. “When it comes to showing leadership, I like to show the younger athletes a pathway.”
As a team captain, Lockwood views his role in OLu cross country as equal parts present day success and future investment.
“Noah is an important leader to this program and it’s future,” says OLu cross country head coach, Kristen Goossens. “Not only does he focus on the current success of the team and it’s runners, but he longs to instill a culture and traditions to our runners that will continue for seasons to come. Though quiet in nature, Noah takes the time to connect with every runner, freshmen to senior, boy or girl, to make sure our program is strong and cohesive on all levels.”
Lockwood’s favorite course is the Woodbridge Invitational, and after a year hiatus due to Covid-19, the meet was back on this past weekend, and the senior captain led the way for the Lancers boys squad in the 3-mile rated race with a personal record of 15:38, finishing 73rd out of 229 runners and helping the team secure 21st place. The team’s effort kept them at the top of the CIF-SS Division 4 rankings for the fourth week in a row.
Discipline, self-esteem and being part of something bigger than himself are just a few of the larger life lessons Lockwood has learned from running, and he credits the sport with giving him the confidence to branch out into other areas of leadership, such as being a 2-year Ignite Mentor.
“Running is something that’s always been there for me,” says Lockwood. “I’m sure I’m going to have other paths I’m going to take in life, but I feel like it’s really been a stepping stone that’s helped me overcome a lot of challenges, not just as an athlete, but in life.”
Lockwood hopes to continue running at the collegiate level alongside studying psychology or sociology. He credits his parents and the OLu coaching staff for being instrumental in both his running career and his faith development.
“As Christian athletes, being able to incorporate faith is really important,” says Lockwood. “When you have that faith in God, and the night before a race you’re afraid or nervous about not hitting that time, you can just put it in God’s hands, and that’s something that’s really helpful. I find it to be very important in a lot of ways.”
Learn more about Noah by watching him in "The Walk".