Former Evart runner ready for sophomore season at Ferris

EVART — Max Hodges learned plenty as a college freshman at Ferris State and focusing on much improvement as a sophomore.

The former Evart all-stater will be running cross country and track again for Ferris State. He acknowledged the 2014-15 season dealt heavily with making the transition from high school to college running.

“Cross season was a little slow for me because I was getting used to higher mileage and more workouts, stuff like that,” Hodges said. “I started out pretty slow for the eight (kilometers). Every race I got faster. By the time I was done, I finished with a 27:15. When I started, it was 29:40. For cross country, I definitely improved by the end of the year.”

It’s a 5K race in high school and 8K in college. Regionals in college have 10K races.

For track, Hodges ran the middle distances during both indoor and outdoor seasons.

During the indoor season, “I started out pretty slow, too,” Hodges said. “My 800 is what I focused on mostly. That’s mainly where they ran me. By the end of indoor, I ended in a 1:59. But by the end of outdoor, I ended in a 1:56.”

Hodges likes his sophomore prospects for the Bulldogs.

“I hope to keep knocking down times,” he said. “For the 8K for cross, I’m hoping to be in the 26s. For my 800, I hope to knock down seconds and get it down to 1:54, maybe 1:53.

“I’m looking forward to the whole (2015-16 season).”

It’s a typical summer full of several road miles for Hodges.

“Training never stops,” he said. “I’ve been running all summer.’”

Hodges said he hasn’t actually encountered the unexpected with college running.

“But it’s a little different coming from a smaller conference and a smaller school,” he said. “There’s usually not that very many people to run against. In college, there’s always someone to beat and someone that’s beating you. There’s always a challenge. There’s no easy way out. There’s no easy race. There’s always something to push you that’s going to be faster whether it’s your teammate or another team ahead of you that you want to beat.”