Preston Ruth is staying home in Knoxville.
Check out what the future Tennessee Vol had to say about his career as a Bearden Bulldog in East Tennessee.
Want to be featured in our Salute To Seniors series? Email Will Boling (firstname.lastname@example.org) and answer the questions listed here!
What was your most memorable race/competition?
Probably the 4 x 800 at the Volunteer Track Classic this past April where I ran the anchor leg and was able to bring my team back from down 50 meters to win. It was a pretty awesome feeling.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
The indoor state mile was definitely the race that I had the most competition. I was able to finish right behind Jake Renfree, Davis Bove, and Cole Bullock who all ran sub 4:12 and dropped 3 US Top 15 times. Jake went on to win New Balance that next week. So, racing among some of the nation's elite was pretty cool.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
Maintaining a 4.38 GPA and never receiving a B in high school. Sports are important and I am blessed to have had some success in them, but they aren't forever. I want to go far in the business world so by building a foundation now I know I can achieve success after my track career and be able to provide for my family
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I am never one to want to change things because I think everything happens for a reason, but I would have started running cross country my freshman year rather than waiting until my junior year. Also, I would have told myself to enjoy running and not stress so much.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Not having immediate success. I was not able to run solid times and get high major Division 1 offers and looks until really late in my career. So having the patience and commitment to keep working and stay focused was not always easy. I was blessed to never suffer a major injury that caused me to miss time but these small obstacles have helped me to maintain a strong mentality and never give up
What will you miss the most?
All the practices, dinners with teammates, cross country dinners, sleepovers, hangouts, and just the stuff outside of racing. My teammates at Bearden really were so supportive and it was awesome to be surrounded by such a great group of individuals for 4 years
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Don't wait for your time to come. Your high school running career will go by in a second, so make the most of it. Regardless the time of season or what level you are on, come into training with the right mindset and be prepared to work hard. Even if success does not come right away, trust and belief in your training and your craft will take you a long way. Also, more mileage. Do the mileage. It'll show if you don't.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
My school coaches and private trainer have really influenced me because they have always done what is in the best interest of my running career. They push and make sure I am working hard, but have formed a bond with me that goes outside the track. They care about what is happening in my day to day life and want me to be successful in whatever I do in life. I am super thankful for every coach, both track and basketball, that has helped along my high school journey.
What are your post-high school plans?
I will be running track and cross country at the University of Tennessee next year and studying Biomedical Engineering in hopes of going to medical school after receiving my masters.
I want to thank God for giving me the gift of long legs. Also, shoutout to my parents. They're pretty cool. And, of course, shoutout to my girlfriend. She's pretty cool too.