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Hastings Students Pair Up for Winter Running Program

Gus and Max Hastings High School and Farragut Middle School students are joining together for jogs to keep up activity this winter.

Running Buddies, a program piloted by the Yellow Jacket Booster Club, was developed to pair Hastings students of different ages for safe and enjoyable physical activities over the winter.

“Kids are constrained in their ability to do sports and get outside,” said Laura Light, President of the Yellow Jackets Booster Club. “This is a creative way for them to get out and have social interaction as well.”

The Yellow Jackets Booster Club, dedicated to supporting Hastings scholar-athletes, started the program due to the pandemic pausing winter sports across all grades. Students participating in the program said it has given them more than just something physical to do.

“You don’t find too many places where you can find a high school student and a middle school student hanging out,” said Hastings High School sophomore Gus Renzin. “This program is sort of bridging that gap and making those connections.”

Renzin, along with his running buddy, sixth grader Max Hesquijarosa, meet every Saturday morning after Renzin’s track practice. After showing Hesquijarosa techniques he has learned on the track, Renzin takes a jog with him on a predetermined route. Although Hesquijarosa and Renzin are separated by four grades, they do have a history together.

Poster “I was actually his counselor for tennis camp in the summer,” said Renzin. “Somehow by coincidence we were paired together.”

Hastings High School junior Maya McDermott who has taken up the mantle of making the pairings said the program is certainly making strides in developing relationships through running. Though the initiative was created as a result of COVID-19, McDermott said she thought it was a great program, pandemic or not.

“It was kind of surprising that there were so many high school students interested in the program,” she said. “Some of them have said the middle school students are really good at running.”

For Renzin, he said that running alongside Hesquijarosa has helped him realize why he took up the sport in the first place. Renzin, who has been running since seventh grade, said that he has been pleasantly surprised by Hesquijarosa’s ability to keep pace with him.

You can find out more about signing up for Running Buddies here