NYHS runner taps into discipline to excel on the course

Khaimov looks forward to training for next season.

Eli Khaimov rolled into his initial cross country season last fall to continue improving his cardio activity. He ended up achieving that and absorbing life lessons to hold by his side for all time.

When the starting gun went off, the Northwest Yeshiva High School (NYHS) junior — who took up running just two months prior to the season commencing — excelled on the 5K course during 1B SeaTac League meets alongside the Lions’ other top runners: Manny Aguilar-Spinosa, Josh Benezra, Izzy Hoffman and Zach Saltsman.

Khaimov, who notched a personal record time of 22:25.3 last September in the 3.1-mile realm, is looking forward to begin training this summer to prepare for next season’s action.

“It was great. In terms of the team that we had, they were the nicest people I’ve known. It was the best team I had. It felt like a second family to me,” he said of the supportive atmosphere.

Come competition time, Khaimov said he froze up a bit before races, but overcame that feeling when things got underway.

“It was pretty challenging for me to finish the 5K, like I was out of breath at the end. It takes a lot of discipline and you feel very proud once you finish it,” he said.

Khaimov also played on the school’s flag football team this year and further grasped onto the vital athletic and life aspects of hard work and motivation. He said you won’t always win, but you need to stay strong the whole way.

“It’s part of the process, losing. And if you don’t learn that, if you quit right away, even when you did bad, you’re never going to get to the part when you did pretty good,” he said.

Two of Khaimov’s coaches, Isaac Varon (flag football) and Marcy Park (cross country), delved into their athlete’s personality and drive to thrive on the field and course.

“He took personal interest in working to make our team be better through increasing his individual and team’s overall excellence,” Varon said.

Park added: “He embraced the supportive team spirit and not only worked to be a competitive member of the team, but also became one of the team’s biggest cheerleaders.”

The Reporter asked Khaimov a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:

If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?

David Goggins (motivational speaker).

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

No matter how hard you fall — it’s not about how hard you fell, it’s about how well you got up.

What’s your favorite course in school?

I think it would be AP environmental science. I like science and learning about cool stuff — that’s only one part of it. The other part is that our teacher (Ben Legel), he’s a solid guy, he’s very nice, very easy going. He’s like one of those easy-going teachers, but he still knows how to get us to get work done.

What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?

When I grow up, I would like to be an engineer. Learning how to help (solve) problems in this great skill.

What superpower would you like to have?

Intelligence — like very intelligent.

What’s your dream vacation spot?

Dubai, for sure. It’s very nice, it has a lot of modern stuff. I like modern technology, modern stuff, modern looking places and yet it’s still a beautiful place.