Bright Future: Cathedral junior enjoys running the race in life

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, October 16, 2019


NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School junior, Ryan Skates said his plan after high school is to keep running and see where life takes him — which seems to have worked well for him so far.

Skates — the son of Michelle and Jeremy Skates — said he is currently the top runner on the CHS track and cross-country teams. His personal best in the 5K is 17 minutes and 4 seconds.

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“I started running track in seventh-grade and cross-country in the eighth-grade,” Skates said. “When I was younger they used to have the mile long ‘fun-run’ and I loved running in that. When I got old enough to join the track team I just got out there and started running.”

Last year, Skates placed first overall in the MAIS AAA state championship at Choctaw Trail at Mississippi College in Clinton.

Skates said his role model and coach, Tommy Smith, pushes him as an athlete to run 6 to 7 miles at practice daily.

Skates’ teachers said he is as bright in the classroom as he is fast on the field. Skates said reading is his second favorite hobby next to running. Skates said he particularly enjoys the books assigned to him in his advanced English class with Jean Biglane.

“I’ll really read anything … and Miss Biglane normally gives us pretty good books,” he said. “The class is challenging and a lot of work, but it’s satisfying when you complete an assignment. The reward is that you were able to do it.”

Skates is also the junior class president and a member of the National Honor Society and the Catholic Youth Organization at Saint Mary’s Basilica.

“When I graduate, I want to see where life takes me,” he said. “I’ll probably keep running in college and keep doing what I’m good at.”