SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Sometimes, a few seconds can make or break your confidence. For Karl Winter, it was just one second.
A little over a week ago, Winter crossed the finish line of his one-mile race as the clock struck 3:59. Prior to the competition, Winter’s best mile time clocked in at 4:02. To Winter, those few seconds are a source of massive relief.
“It’s something that every runner dreams about,” Winter says. “I think the biggest emotion was relief because this has been something I’ve known I could do since my junior year of undergrad… and I finally achieved it. It took a weight off of me because I don’t have to worry about running under four minutes… I can just go out and race.”
As a result of his sub-four minute performance, Winter sits in rarified Syracuse cross country air. He’s now just the eighth runner in program history to break the four minute mark.
Such an achievement requires immense concentration and preparation. For Winter, the solution is simple: work hard and live with whatever comes of your virtues.
“I’m my own harshest critic,” admits Winter. “I know that if I give it anything less than 100%, I’ll regret it after the fact. There’s a quote from a runner I like, named Paul Chelimo, who’s a 5,000 meter Olympic medalist. He says you go hard or suffer for the rest of your life.”
Winter was a three-sport athlete in high-school, playing basketball, baseball, and running for the track team. After realizing his potential for track in his sophomore year, he abandoned the two team sports to focus on the individual pursuit of track and field.
Such a competitive spirit has enabled Winter’s pursuit of a master’s in broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. When he’s not outrunning everyone on campus, Winter can be found hosting studio shows for the ACC Network, or serving as play-by-play for various events.
As an athlete, Winter understands the struggle of preparing for high-stakes situations and believes it’s part of why he’s built for a career in broadcasting.
“Being an athlete helps me cover athletes better,” asserts Winter. “Covering athletes helps me respect what they do in sports outside of my own as well… I think it’s iron sharpens iron in that sense.”
Admittedly, Winter will tell you he’s not quite sure what his future holds.
“2023 is the first year that I’ve entered in my life without knowing where I was going to be at the end of it, both geographically and in terms of goals and ambitions,” claims Winter.
But what Winter can tell you for sure is that, “coming here to [Syracuse] and to Newhouse even only for one year puts me in a very good position for the rest of my life.”