SHS runner competes internationally

    Nathan Cumberbatch, junior, recently competed at the CARIFTA Games, winning silver in the boys 1719 800m track event. Hosted this year in Kingston, Jamaica, the Games feature three days of track and field races for athletes under 20. Athletes represent countries in the Central American and Caribbean regions. Cumberbatch represented Trinidad and Tobago. 

     “I’m a Trinidadian citizen, so I can run for them,” Cumberbatch said. “There’s a lot of opportunities there and I just wanted to take advantage of them and represent the country.” 

    Cumberbatch discovered track at a young age from his dad, who came to the U.S. from Trinidad. 

    “We moved to Ripon, Wisconsin, and [my dad] was coaching some high school kids there. I was like 10, and I wanted to join in, so I just kind of… started running, and it all kind of took off from there.”

    Preparing for CARIFTA Games would have been difficult enough, but Cumberbatch faced the added challenge of injury leading into the track season.

    “After cross country, I broke my foot. I had a stress fracture, and I was out for two and a half months, which was probably the hardest time in my life, actually,” Cumberbatch said. “Not being able to run in the indoor season this year was pretty hard, and then it kind of took a little toll on my fitness and I wasn’t in the shape I wanted to be in for outdoor.”

I just wanted to take advantage of [opportunities] and represent [Trinidad and Tobago].

— Nathan Cumberbatch

    The unexpected setback meant that intense training was needed to recover in time for the Games. 

     “My dad told me it was going to be probably one of the hardest training blocks I’d ever had, and it definitely was. I was doing two sessions a day, one before school, and then one after school… just a lot of training, a lot of focus.” 

    After the games, Cumberbatch set a school and meet record for the 400m event at Arrowhead Invite.

    “I ran 47.5 for the 400 which I think beat the previous record by about a second.”

    Along with the training, Cumberbatch has to deal with other challenges as well. For Cumberbatch, running isn’t just a sport –– it’s a lifestyle. 

    “There’s a lot of challenges that come with it, the training is hard, you have to sacrifice a lot, you have to get a lot of sleep, you have to eat well,” Cumberbatch said. “So it’s a challenge, but I think embracing the challenge is pretty fun, and I enjoy it.”

    Having taken part in only state and national races, including the New Balance Nationals and AAU Nationals, CARIFTA was Cumberbatch’s first international meet. After the school track season is over, however, he looks forward to future competitions. 

    “After state, I’ll have nationals [in] Philadelphia, and then [I’m] hoping to run in Cali, Columbia, in the World Under 20 championships in August.” 

    Cumberbatch plans to stick with track throughout and after his time at SHS

    “I definitely plan on doing it in college and hopefully running professionally if I can, we’ll see where it takes me, but yeah, I love the sport.”