Athlete of the Month: Luke Chisum


Credit: Courtesty of Lori Caddoo

Sophomore Luke Chisum finishes first in the freshman three kilometer race at the DCL Championship Meet in 2021. “This year, I want to get around 16:30 for a five [kilometer race],” Chisum said.

Sasha Libenzon

The starting pistol goes off as sophomore Luke Chisum leads the way for the Wayland boys varsity cross country team. Although he’s just a sophomore, Chisum has already made his mark within the list of Wayland cross country meet records.

Chisum started running cross country in middle school. Along with cross country, he plays basketball and baseball for Wayland. As a freshman, Chisum earned two varsity letters, one for cross country and the other for baseball.

“I ran in middle school because my parents pushed me to do a sport and they ran,” Chisum said. “In high school, I kind of just continued because I wouldn’t play a fall sport otherwise. I also play baseball, which is fun, and I got to pitch. I got my first hit so that was exciting because it took a while.”

During the spring, Chisum plays varsity baseball for Wayland High School. “[Cross country] gets me in better shape,” Chisum said. “I think it helps me more specifically when I pitch. I have more stamina, so I can pitch longer in the games,” Chisum said. (Credit: Courtesy of Luke Chisum)

Chisum’s parents both have a running background as his mom ran for Princeton University and his dad ran for Brandeis University. After finishing her collegiate running career at Princeton, Chisum’s mom raced at the Olympic Trials, running the 10 kilometer race on the track. His mom’s personal running records included a 1500 meter or metric mile time of four minutes and 21 seconds, a five kilometer time of 15 minutes and 37 seconds on the track and a marathon time of two hours, 43 minutes and 57 seconds.

Chisum practices and races primarily with sophomore Owen Williams. Together, Chisum and Williams push each other to succeed. Over the summer, they attended Foss Running Camp in New Hampshire. The camp is a training camp for runners from all over the New England area.

“During practices, he can push me and we can always be working on the same thing,” Chisum said. “Obviously, during the races it’s really nice to have somebody to run with and then in a dual meet you can work with them and just try to beat people. In a big meet, where there’s a lot of people and it feels intimidating, you can always look at someone next to you and it’s someone familiar, so that’s really nice.”

At the beginning of the current season, the cross country team traveled to Wrentham, MA where it competed at the Frank Kelley Invitational Meet. Chisum finished No. 35 out of 272 finishers in the boys championship five kilometer race, with a time of 16 minutes and 51 seconds. Chisum was followed closely by Williams, who finished just a second behind him.

“Basically, I refuse to lose to Owen, so however fast he runs, I have to run faster,” Chisum said. “Teammates push you to compete at your highest level and push you to be better.”

Chisum is coming off of a successful freshman cross country season. Two of his most notable achievements are winning the boys freshman race at the DCL Championship Meet and competing at MIAA Cross Country All States, where he finished No. 76. Last year, Chisum and Williams were the only runners to qualify for All States on the team.

On Oct. 12, the team traveled to Bedford High School for its last dual meet, where Chisum was able to get his first win of the season.

“We knew how fast the Bedford guys were, so we decided to go out with them and have them lead us through the first two miles,” Chisum said. “The last mile, we decided to attack them and in the final 800 meters, I started to kick and sprint to the finish. [Owen and I] ended up beating [Bedford’s top two] by 10 seconds.”

The next invitational meet will be on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Falmouth, MA. The meet is called the Twilight Invitational because it starts at around 5:00 p.m. and ends just before 10 p.m..

“For the Twilight Meet, I think it’s mostly just going to be a lot of fun because it’s at night and it’s going to be exciting,” Chisum said. “I think it will be a good course to run a [personal record] on. A [personal record] would definitely be nice, but I am definitely just trying to break 17 minutes on that course.”

Chisum runs cross country to help with speed and stamina for baseball. He continues to push himself and break personal records as he leads the Wayland boys varsity cross country team to success.

“For me, I think [the most rewarding part of a race] is the end,” Chisum said. “You can see how you improved and you can look back at the people that you beat, hopefully.”