It’s been quite the year for Johnsburg’s Jolene Cashmore.
The Skyhawks senior, who didn’t run cross country last year, turned in another strong finish when she won Grant’s James Taylor Invitational on Sept. 24. Cashmore won the race in 18:28.30, 29 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
Earlier in the year, Cashmore rolled to a win by almost 2 1/2 minutes at the Kishwaukee River Conference Preview Meet, leading the Skyhawks to the team title. She was fourth at the McHenry County Meet and fifth at the Crystal Lake South Invite, setting a Johnsburg course record at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake.
For her performance, Cashmore was voted the Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week by readers. Cashmore answered questions about getting her start in long-distance running, her goals for the rest of the season, what she does to pass the time and more.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get a start in long-distance running?
Cashmore: Survive a pandemic? I got into running out of boredom and in hope to keep my brain occupied. But in all seriousness, make sure you understand how much you need to fuel to run the distance because that will pay off in the long run.
Can you remember what you were thinking in the few minutes before your first race?
Cashmore: I remember being nervous because I knew the gun was really loud, so I was really focused on not getting scared by it before I started.
What are your goals for the rest of the cross country season?
Cashmore: My goals for the season are to hopefully break 18 [minutes] and get myself to Peoria for the state meet.
What actress would play you in a movie about your life?
Cashmore: I like Lili Reinhart or Sydney Sweeney.
What sport that you don’t play would you be good at?
Cashmore: Probably none. Anything that involves hand-eye coordination, I’m not very good at.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Cashmore: I can recite the ABCs backwards and I also can play the flute, piccolo, piano and a little saxophone.
What is the best birthday present you’ve ever received?
Cashmore: I guess my phone for my 15th birthday. This year, I’m looking forward to a weekend away with my mom and grandma since it’s my 18th and golden birthday.
What do you like to do when you have some free time?
Cashmore: I like to listen to music and go on walks. I also like to go to the gym and grocery shop. Trader Joe’s is probably my favorite.
What superpower would you like to have, and what would be your superhero name?
Cashmore: I would love to read minds or be able to shut off my own emotions maybe. I don’t know what my name would be.
What is the last really good book you read?
Cashmore: I just read a book called “She’s Come Undone,” and it was the best I’ve read in a long time. The author does an amazing job writing the thoughts of the character.