Quintin Lowe can be his own harshest critic, but that self-reflection and determination molded him into an All-State runner.
And, for that, Lowe can exhale and bask in the achievement.
Lowe, a Batavia senior, battled a bout with COVID-19 earlier in the cross country season, but managed to roar back into form. He was the Kane County Meet champion and DuKane Conference champion and finished 20th at the Class 3A state meet earlier this month.
“After the first meet, I got [COVID-19] and then had to focus the whole season toward focusing on state and looking at the bigger picture because the bulk of this season was trying to get back to full health and see what I had at the end of the year,” he said.
Lowe, who finished 119th at state last year, cashed in on that investment with a 15:22.5 effort this season in Peoria.
Lowe, the first Batavia boys cross country runner to earn All-State since 1996, is the 2022 Kane County Chronicle Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
“We’ve had some different team achievements, but we haven’t had that one single guy to have some success at the state meet,” Batavia coach Bronco Meeks said. “Not only at the state meet but the conference level, too. I mean, he just ran an absolutely awesome race there. We were expecting it to be pretty close and he ran away with it [a 14:56.5 finish at conference]. We just did not think that was going to happen for him to run sub-15 [minutes] there. We’ve only had, I think, probably two athletes that have done that since 1996 that have run sub-15 for three miles. He’s really helped to take the program a long way.”
Lowe’s impact, however, goes well beyond individual success. Team-wise, Meeks remembers it well.
“[Two years ago], we were hit hard by COVID,” Meeks said. “I had a group of seniors literally the week before COVID hit ran the seventh-fastest time in the nation for the 4x8. Then we got shut down and that was our chance to really take it to the next level. They’d earned some state medals, and we thought, for the distance group, that would’ve really taken us to the level we’ve been trying to strive for the past 10 years here. Quintin helped dig us out of the basement.”
“We really struggled the last couple years, and then all of a sudden, we just had a bunch of sophomores that were running at a pretty elite level. He set us up for the future here. He cares about his teammates. He cares about the program. He wants to leave it better than what he was given at the beginning of his career here and he’s certainly done that. He’s just a fantastic leader.”
For Lowe, running can be one of “the most painful sports” one can go through. The payoff, however, “teaches you to push through and don’t give up.”
“There’s been plenty of times where I’ve been hurt so bad in workouts or races and I just wanted to give up,” Lowe said. “But I just needed to keep pushing through and just keep putting the work in. I know if I put in the work, the results would show eventually.
“That’s what I did this summer and during the season. I just kept putting in the work and protecting my body doing all the injury preventions so hopefully I’d be at the tip top of my shape both physically and mentally. You definitely need to take care of the mental side as well. I feel like when people think of running, it’s just all physical, but the mental side is also very important.”
All Area List
Connor Carlson, Marmion; John Daffenberg, Marmion; Mitch Garcia, St. Charles East; Quintin Lowe, Batavia; Adam Miller, Batavia; Evan Nosek, Kaneland; Anthony Ross, Geneva; David Valkanov, Kaneland