Seth Reel's road to individual success has been filled with hard work and determination to be the best.
The St. Edmond senior has been a driving force in many of the recent accomplishments of the Gael cross country and track programs.
Last Saturday, Reel placed seventh individually in the Class 2A state cross country meet at Lakeside Golf Course in a time of 16:06 - a new program state mark. Earlier this season, Reel became the school record-holder, captured the North Central Conference title and earned 2A district gold.
Reel is also the first SEHS boy ever to twice finish in the Top-10 individually of the state cross country meet.
"I'm very satisfied with everything I've been able to do," said Reel, who previously checked in 52nd in the 2A state cross country field as a sophomore and sixth in the 1A event as a junior, where the green and white turned in a school-best third-place team showing. "I've had some great teammates to work with. It's been a very enjoyable experience.
"It was nice running with (former Gael cross country and track standout and current Grinnell College athlete) Nate (Kolacia), but it was also fun to be the leader of our distance runners this year."
TIMEOUT WITH SETH REEL
Vacation destination: Italy.
People I would like to have dinner with: God, my grandpa Rick and Josie Heesch.
It would surprise people that I: eat a lot of junk food.
My sports role model: Steve Prefontaine.
My everyday role model: my mom.
I can't go a day without: candy.
Superstition: wearing black socks.
Most heated rivalry: Webster City.
Favorite road trip: Winona, Minn.
What are you listening to right now? The Black Keys.
Team: Winona State.
Movie: The Notebook.
Magazine: Running Times.
In track, Reel placed 8th in the 3200 as a sophomore inside Drake Stadium, helping St. Edmond to their second 2A state championship since 2009. As a junior, Reel was 14th in the 1600 and 21st in the 800 for the state runner-up Gaels.
"My first state championship was really an amazing thing to be a part of," Reel said. "I didn't do track when I was younger, so it was pretty rewarding to see my efforts pay off. I used to look up to guys like (ex-SEHS and University of Northern Iowa runner) Josh Madsen, and my dad always told me I could be as good as him if I worked hard.
"To go above and beyond that was just awesome."
Reel acknowledged his head coaches, Mike Szalat and Bill Kibby, for all their support and encouragement along the way.
"(Szalat and Kibby) have been the two best coaches I could ever ask for," said Reel. "They really care about all of us and are just phenomenal people."
Despite his Gael career nearing the finish line, Reel remains undecided about his future plans.