Evan Parker, Sophomore

What activities are you involved in? I am in Cross Country/Track and Field and Niles North Varsity Debate. 

How long have you been doing XC/T&F and debate? I joined debate and both track and field/cross country at the beginning of last year.

Why did you join your activities? I joined Debate because my friend, Dev, asked me if I wanted to join and I said “sure.” I joined Track and Field because my brother is a sprinter, and I wanted to do baseball in the spring but my brother said to just do the winter season but I loved it so much I did the spring season too. 

What’s your best memory in both? For track it was definitely freshman/sophomore conference of last year. I never swear; you might think of me as a “goody-two-shoes” for that haha. But I said last year if I don’t get a sub-5 mile I will say the f-word. I said to myself I was gonna practice every single day. 5:08 was my best of the season. The day of the conference I wasn’t feeling too well, but I got a 4:50. Everybody went ballistic because they didn’t expect a freshman to get a sub-5 mile. I was carried out by students and coaches and they started pouring water on me. For debate it was this year’s Maine East Debate Tournament. We were all pretty excited because this tournament was one where you could get a TOC (Tournament of Champions) bid, and we were all psyched to get a TOC bid. I wanted to run this argument called “D-Dev” (which argues economic growth is bad), and I always tell everybody that this is a good argument to run but the (varsity) team always says “No, it doesn’t make sense.” In the tournament, I had a 4-1 record and in order to “break” you needed five. The team we went up against in the last round was (what I would say) the best team in the CSL area: New Trier Gordon-Shah (New Trier GS). We went for d-dev that round and won, which was amazing because I dreamed of beating this team. We were the only sophomore team to get a TOC bid. Crazy!

What’s the biggest adversity you had to overcome in XC/T&F and debate? The hardest thing in Track was probably when I had to get surgery. End of winter track I was really excited; maybe I would have gotten a sub-5 mile. But two days before conference, I had to get surgery so I couldn’t compete in track. I couldn’t “run it off” and it actually ended up lasting about two-and-a-half weeks. I couldn’t practice or get better. For Cross Country, I missed state by 0.8 seconds and I was practicing so much. Imagine the person right in front of you for a race for that spot; think about that. That person right in front of me was for state.  For debate, I think it’s balancing both Debate and Track. Everybody was mad at me freshman year because I constantly missed Debate practice for Track. I had to miss Debate though; I couldn’t miss Track. But for Varsity States, they only had two spots and they gave one to me (and my partner), and people were mad because they probably came to practice more than me. 

Any pre-game or pre-tourney superstitions? In Cross Country the whole team always eats tons of pasta because carbohydrates are really good for you. Also imagery is a huge thing. I like how the track coaches tell us to imagine “where we will be, moments before the finish line” and telling us what we should be feeling and thinking about what you need to do to hype yourself. In Debate, I always sleep really early, and imagine my schedule. Imagery also works too. New Trier GS was the first team I watched in Varsity debate, and this team was so good, so I would be picturing what I would be trying to argue against them and how I would have won. 

What’s your biggest flex? I would say taking AP Bio freshman year. It was insanely difficult, but I got a five on the exam and I’m really proud of that.