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Athlete of the Issue: Quinn Hampson
Finn Broder '23 Staff Writer
November 18, 2021

On Saturday, October 23, Quinn Hampson ‘22 broke the record for the fastest time that a Deerfield Cross Country runner has completed our five-kilometer-long course, with an incredible mark of 15:31. While this was not Hampson’s first broken record as a Deerfield runner, it certainly reflected his continuous development as an athlete and his eventful four-year journey on the Boys Cross Country team.

Credit: Julia Hioe

In the words of Head Boys Cross Country Coach, Mr. Sam Morris, Hampson’s ascent to become the top male runner at the school was “meteoric.” Mr. Morris said that in order to excel in running, “you have to put in the work and slowly over time you get better.” As evidenced by Hampson’s progression in cross country and track, he has done just that.

Hampson recalled his freshman year at Deerfield when he “started second guessing” himself after underperforming his running expectations coming out of middle school, where he was the fastest runner. During his sophomore year, Hampson suffered a devastating injury that took him out of the New England Championship race in November, following which he became, in his own words, “pretty beaten down.”

Mr. Morris and Hampson agree, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic positively impacted Hampson’s training, when he suddenly had extra time he never expected to benefit from. After training hard throughout 2020 and seeing the results during his junior fall of cross country, Hampson decided to pursue track as his spring sport. This decision allowed him to focus on being a runner, which led to a second summer in which he ran hundreds of miles in 2021.

Mr. Morris emphasized the importance of annual summer training, saying, “Meaningful improvement can happen when you just plug away steadily over a long period of time.” Hampson added that he has “an immense amount of trust with the coaching staff, that the training that they give me is safe and will give me results at the same time.” Indeed, injuries have somewhat plagued Deerfield cross country over the years, but the general sense now is that things are looking up.

Mr. Morris noted that, during Hampson’s time at Deerfield, the culture of the cross country team has seen a tremendous shift in the right direction, which is not a coincidence.  “Quinn is really good at modeling that kind of patient work ethic, consistent work ethic,” said Mr. Morris. Hampson, too, shared a couple of his personal inspirations that have allowed this work ethic to dictate his training and racing mindsets. “I read Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, which is an incredible book that I would suggest to everybody,” he shared.

As our cross country teams wrap up their fall seasons, it is quite obvious that future Deerfield teams will miss Hampson, both on and off the course. However, Deerfield runners, coaches, and fans alike can appreciate the unpredictability of the sport. Running is a long-term sport, and Hampson has demonstrated just how quickly elite runners can develop if they’re willing to put in the work.

Hampson plans to continue running for the next four years, as he is currently committed to the admissions process at Tufts University. We wish him all the best as he leaves the Pocumtuck Valley and heads east to become a Jumbo.