Athlete Profile: Jaden Tumale

Ezra Matthews, reporter, photographer

Senior Jaden Tumale represents Hays as a XC star athlete, born and raised right here in Kyle. The start of his XC (Cross Country) career was all from a promise to his sister to run with her, her last year at Hays.

Jaden said, “I wasn’t expecting anything of it, but it ended up being something I was good at and decided to pursue it.” Ever since he found out running was something he wanted to do he trained pretty much everyday to keep improving in the sport. Tumale’s been training since freshman year since that’s when he started, but even before then he was running track in middle school for the Barton Bobcats. About focusing on the sport he had to say, “It’s a huge commitment but that’s what it takes if you want to be good.” Jaden’s appreciation toward the sport as it’s not only something he does, but it’s apart of him Jaden said, “Cross country is a huge aspect of my life. It gives me a sense of purpose. Some of my best friends come from being in cross country so I’m thankful to be a part of it.” As Jaden has gone through his High School career in XC from Freshman to present Senior year he questioned what to do, where his life is going, but XC kept him on track and eventually had a lesson he learned as he said, “Cross country has taught me a lot about perseverance. It’s taken a long time to see success in running but I trusted the process and is starting to pay off.” He goes on to say, “I enjoy the camaraderie that surrounds the sport. My teammates are family to me and make life more enjoyable.”

All great players have a pre-game ritual. “On race day I always eat two Eggo waffles for breakfast. I also listen to the same playlist before every race,” he said.

When asked if there was any specific part that he liked during XC meets he says, “My favorite part on an XC meet is the bus ride home. It gives me a chance to bond with my teammates and have a good time.” Jaden is a guy that loves the sport and can

enjoy the small aspects, like enjoying the environment and the people around him. He says it fills him with joy and excitement. As he trains every day he said, “I want to make my family proud. I don’t want the sacrifices they make for me to be for nothing, so I run for them.”

He keeps this in the back of his mind everyday when he goes and makes his family proud by fulfilling his goals he set for himself. He says family is what powers him to exceed and try his very best everyday to run and win the day.

Since he’s been playing all of high school he was asked what was different about this season compared to the previous seasons and he said, “This season is all about improving on my accomplishments from last year. My mindset is focused on defending my district title and qualifying for state.

“Cross country is going to be a huge part of my future. I’ll be running cross country in college for Texas Tech,” Tumale said.