Up Close & Personal with Josh Blanc

Banner Elk, NC--Join us as we being a series of interviews to get to know the Bobcats cross country team a little bit better. We begin by talking with All-Conference runner Josh Blanc, a senior who hails from Hope Mills, NC.

1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae? I really liked the small school environment, the quality focus that the students receive from the instructors, the chance to run cross country and track after high school, and the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

2. What are your personal goals for this season? Personally I want to be All-Conference and PR. Team wise I want to win Conference and go to Nationals.

3. What's your favorite Bobcat memory here at Lees-McRae so far? Last Spring at the end of track season, I talked my coach into letting me run the 5K at Duke. My goal was to break 16 minutes in the 5K. It was a week after classes were done and the season was well over. I was at Duke with just my family, no teammates or coaches. It was hard running alone and after the season was over, but I worked hard. I pushed myself and reached a level I'd never reached in running before. I pushed myself very hard and ended up with a 15:56! I was so excited and pumped up! It was one of the greatest races I'd ever run.

4. What is your favorite part of cross country here at Lees-McRae? I really like the team mentality and brotherhood we embody. We get along very well. We work hard and push each other and are committed to achieving our goals.

5. Who has been the most influential person on your athletic career? It's hard to name just one person because there have been many throughout my life. The most consistent and lasting person would be my dad. He helped me a lot throughout my life with all kinds of sports and character traits he learned throughout his life. Also the many wrestling coaches I had throughout my life showed me a lot about developing as an athlete and as a person. Also many of my teammates throughout high school were great influences and helped push me to new levels.

6. If you weren't a runner, what other sport would you play? I guess if I never got into running, I would have concentrated more on wrestling, and maybe could've done that in college. Other than that, I might have tried soccer. I imagine I could've been pretty good at that.

7. What is your major and what do you plan to do with your degree? I'm majoring in International Studies and have a minor in History. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do after I graduate, but I would like to work overseas for the government or an aid organization.

8. If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go? I would go to ancient Greece. That was a very interesting period in time, and I'd love to experience the culture.

9. What is your favorite band? I like the hip-hop group The Wu-Tang Clan, and lyricists like, Nas and Canibus.

10. What is your favorite book? Siddhartha

11. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be? I would like to travel to China.

12. What is one word that describes you and why? Positive Attitude: I always try to maintain a positive attitude regardless of the situation, and always try to keep positive when dealing with people, whether they have a good attitude or not. It's also good to have a positive attitude to be nice and help those around you, who might be having a rough day.

Josh's Story...My parents are both from Parma Ohio (outside of Cleveland), and I have one older sister. Because my dad was in the Army, I was born in Fort Hood, Texas and after about a year we moved to Heilbran, Germany. After about 3 years we moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina. Again after a few years we moved back to Germany, this time a town south of Frankfurt called Hanau. After another 3 years or so we again moved back to Fayetteville, this time to a town nearby called Hope Mills. Since 1995 we have lived there, but throughout my father's career in the Army he had to tour Bosnia, Korea, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Although he had to leave consistently our family found strength and support through each other. Throughout my life I have always been a pretty decent runner. I tried other sports such as baseball, football, and wrestling but running was my niche. Throughout middle and high school I did wrestling, track and cross country. Regardless of whichever sport I attempted I always worked hard and tried to be better than I was the day before. In my senior year, my high school cross country team won the 4A NC Cross Country State Championships. Despite our victory, I was left very frustrated and upset coming out of my senior cross country season. I was doubtful if I would ever compete in running again. Then I applied to several different schools, and LMC was one of them. I put on the application that I ran cross country and track and after a few weeks I received an e-mail from Coach Mac expressing his interest in me. So I visited Banner Elk, loved it and developed an excitement to continue running at the college level. I had some other big college opportunities but I chose Lees-McRae. I love and appreciate that I am able to compete in athletics after high school, get an education, and live in a beautiful place.