Freshman Mile

A Magnet right-of-passage (and also a P.E. requirement) the Mile is a staple of Raptor Physical Education.

What is it?

A grueling 5  1/2 laps around the bus loop.

Who does it?

Magnet and SOA freshmen.

What is its purpose?

To haze the younger generation and impart to them that high school is a brutal rat-race that shows no mercy to its runners. Oh, and it is also a Physical Education requirement.

Nervous chatter fills the air. Freshmen timidly line up behind the start line. And the freshmen are off! 

Separating from the pack early, freshmen Brayden Bunt and CJ Geiger ran the bus loop with a purpose. As avid cross country runners, these boys felt confident and prepared for the Mile. First to sprint across the finish line was Brayden with a time of 5:20. CJ Geiger was hot on his heels with a 5:33 finish. I interviewed these boys to get the scoop on their impressive performances. Brayden described his training for this event simply as “cross country practice.” They described the conditions of the bus loop as having “lots of turns” (CJ) and “sun” (Brayden). When asked what they thought it took to successfully finish the Freshmen Mile, Brayden answered “endurance,” and CJ wisely commented “dodging” (with all the kids out there on the bus loop, nimbleness is definitely essential). When asked what advice they would give to future freshmen, Brayden shrugged and said “honestly just run before it.” CJ seconded this suggestion and said “just start running.”

(L to R) Brayden Bunt and CJ Geiger

Next up, I spoke with Vanessa Nguyen. She described being out on the bus loop as “painful.” My freshmen self would have agreed with this sentiment. When asked what she thought it took to successfully finish the Freshmen Mile, Vanessa answered “stamina” and “water, lots of water.” (For more on the water situation at AMHS, see Water Woes.) Looking ahead to the next Freshmen Mile, Vanessa voiced plans to “push myself harder.” Thank you, Vanessa!

Vanessa Nguyen recommends stamina and water for those who run the Freshmen Mile

Amaris Wint (9) describes the Mile as a “tiring” experience. Thinking about the next Mile, Amaris muses that she “probably need[s] a better playlist too.” 

“My playlist mostly consisted of 80s rock songs. I think the song that motivated me the most was Jaded by Aerosmith. I’ve grown up listening to Aerosmith and I particularly enjoy this song. It’s a pretty laid back song, but it got me through the run! Another song was (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult. It’s just a classic!”

Amaris Wint (9)

Next, I interviewed Raptors who had prior experience running the Mile (almost all of us).

Throwback to 2019, Class of 2023 Raptors (L to R) Destiny Craft, Carolyn Selvidge, Ella Sanders, Nettie Thomas-Paule, and  Lily Phelps (well, her right ear) post-Mile run. Photo courtesy of Lily Phelps.

Destiny Craft (12) contemplates her own experience on the bus loop, saying “I remember me and Nettie just dying and Jacob Burke just sprinting through the whole thing.”

Grayson Goodier (11), a track runner for AMHS, remembers how despite his extensive qualifications, “I was gasping by the end of it.”

Rory Leach (L) and Helina Lloyd (R) recover from the taxing experience.
Eli Mitchell (9) following in the footsteps of his older brother, Cooper Mitchell (12), who ran the same bus loop in 2019.

Well, that’s a wrap Raptors. While the Mile is definitely a demanding experience, it is kind of beautiful that this event connects all of us, regardless of grade or athletic ability. Best of luck to all future participants of the Freshmen Mile, and may this tradition continue to thrive and impact younger generations for years to come.