When redshirt senior Joseph Meade signed his letter of intent to run for Texas State’s cross country team, he didn’t expect to leave so much behind with each step forward.
Joseph Meade, business management senior and Round Rock native, said his rise as a runner came as a surprise as he never expected to compete at the collegiate level.
“My junior year was when I really fell in love with the sport,” Meade said. “My senior year was the year I really kind of exploded and came up, I got a few phone calls and yeah, it was pretty cool. “Running means everything to me, it’s pretty crazy, running I think has shaped me in a lot of aspects. It’s (going to) be hard when my final day in college comes.”
Since joining Texas State’s program, Meade said he’s taken on a leadership role to further what he believes the values of Texas State athletes should be.
“Leadership, that’s the biggest thing I’ve taken away,” Meade said. “Coming in I was more of a quiet, under-spoken guy, and I just tried rising up and setting my values on the table to what I think Texas State should represent.”
Meade named Coach Alex Muntefering as his greatest role model. He mentioned how his mentorship helped shape him into the leader he is today.
“Coach Monty has been one of my biggest role models since I’ve been here,” Meade said. “He’s shown me a great path: not just how to be a better runner but how to be a better leader. He’s definitely helped me grow and I wouldn’t be where I am in running and life without him.”
Muntefering said Meade is a positive leader for the team and believes his presence will be felt even after he is gone.
“I think he’s done a great job of leading us on and off the track over the last few years and I think that’s going to have a profound impact for the program going forward as these younger guys continue to build the program after Joseph graduates this year,” said Muntefering. “I think even after he’s gone we’ll still feel the effects he’s had on the program.”
The runner has high expectations for the next two meets before conference play begins. Meade will compete Sept. 22 in the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. and Oct. 13 in the Arturo Barrios Invitational in College Station.
“I think I have a lot to prove this week, I think the first week was a nice little opener, but I still haven’t let everything out of the cage yet,” Meade said. “I definitely think that this conference is (going to be shocked) in the next few races.”
To close out his collegiate career, Meade said he plans on qualifying for nationals, something he came close to achieving last year.
“I want to be a national qualifier, that’s my goal,” Meade said. “I also want to be a conference champion or help win the team title. Being a national qualifier is what I’ve worked for and every year I’ve come closer and closer. Last year, I barely missed out, but this year, it’s my ultimate goal.”
The runner said he was proud to be named as the Sun Belt Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week. It’s his second time to receive the distinction.
“It’s definitely not an easy thing to get,” Meade said. “It just goes to show that our conference knows that I’m working hard, and they respect me.”