Getting to know…Tim Jurkowski

Phat Nguyen, Sports Editor

Meet Tim Jurkowski, the Eagle Scout and top runner of the men’s cross country team. Jurkowski now holds the school record for the 8,000 meters at 29:04, beating the previous record by 43 seconds. The future male nurse is also a renowned Hozzie king and a Native American Grass Dancer.

Major:  Nursing
Age: 18
Hometown: Honesdale, PA. It’s about an hour north.
Why did you choose to major in nursing? I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I just looked around and thought maybe I should be a doctor, but I didn’t think med school was for me. With nursing I could expand my career and be successful.
Has anyone ever given you crap since you want to be a male nurse? All I’ve ever heard for the past two years was “oh Tim the murse, Tim the murse,” but it’s cool. I’m over it.
Just tell everyone you’re the man like Gaylord Focker. Yeah he was pretty cool.
What’s the highest mileage that you’ve run so far this season in a week? Around 70 miles.
Have you run more than you’ve driven since you started training? Since I’ve been here, I haven’t driven a car at all, so in the past few weeks alone, I’ve run more miles than I’ve driven all summer.
Did you ever run to the grocery store to pick up milk, and then run back? Not quite because it’s a pain in butt to run with a gallon of milk, but I would totally do it if I could.
How has Coach Wadas’ workout plans improved your times as a runner? At the beginning of the season he had splits written down, and we were hitting them just as he planned. We are running faster now while running longer distances too. I’d say it’s working out well.  It’s definitely paying off now.
I mean, you’re the school record holder in the 8k now. That’s not too shabby. It’s pretty awesome. Coming in as a freshman, I didn’t even expect to be the number three or four guy. So getting the school record was a shock but I’m proud and glad I did it.
What was that course like at DeSales? I raced there in high school so it brought back good memories. It was fun. I ran my race and felt good. I came across the finish, and I was surprised and really happy. It was a hilly course, but there were flat parts to even it out.
Was that a fast course in high school too? Everything I ran in HS was the same. I actually had my best 5k time there too.
What was your favorite course that you’ve run so far this year? I think it was definitely at Gettysburg. It was an overnight trip over fall break, and we got to go out to some Italian restaurant before the big race. The course was muddy which is bad for our times, but it’s great to run in the mud. It makes it that much better.
Really, so it doesn’t bother you that? Running in the elements just pumps me up. I love running the in rain, snow and mud.
Worst weather race that you’ve ever ran? My high school districts, because it rained the day before so the whole course was flooded with water, but then the day of the meet, the temperature dropped down to thirty degrees, and we were running through water puddles. Everyone was going around the puddles, but I‘ll always run right through it.
Did you wear anything to keep warm? I had a hat and my uniform.
That’s it? That’s it.
Does the mud or puddles make your shoes heavier? Well, I don’t wear socks when I run, which I’ve found a lot of people do. The mud doesn’t get on your feet and the socks don’t get wet.
What’s the toughest thing about the transition from high school to college cross country? The mileage is about twice the amount I did in high school. So I mean I get through it. But it really is a lot when you’ve been running for an hour and a half at a time. You definitely feel it later in your legs when you’re done when your legs are sore, but that’s about it.
There are a lot of fast women out there. Have you ever gotten beaten by one in a race? Back in high school there was me, the #2 miler, and a girl who ran a five minute mile, then everyone else. She’d be the person on our tails. There have been times when gives have beaten me in races by a minute, which is pretty amazing. I was just like…ok.
What’s your favorite class so far? I really like my English class with Grier. English was never my favorite class, but his views on different things just make the class interesting.
What’s funny about the class? We read stories then he discusses them. Then he goes on rants which I think are comical.
Most runner will eat carbs the night before a race, what do you eat the day of the race? I’m         always a fan of pb&j the day of.
What was it like running around Wilkes-Barre during the flood? Kirby park was fun because everything was covered in mud, so you’d be slipping everywhere. It was cool to run everywhere and see all the debris.
What was the longest run you’ve done this year? We did a run to the back mountain trail. We ran twelve miles that day. Six out and six back and we were on a side of that mountain for a while. It was pretty cool.
What is Hozzie? It’s a card game that I learned in high school. It’s a pretty complicated game to teach and learn, but once you get it, it’s pretty easy to play.
I heard you’re pretty good. Throughout high school I was the Hozzie king. During spirit week, I never lost a game, and I was always Hozzie Champ.
Are you still the Hozzie champ here at wilkes? Oh, of course.
Would you be willing to accept a challenge from someone who reads the Beacon? Bring it on.

Describe your self in five words: Fast, patient, average height, sarcastic and outgoing.
I do Army ROTC which takes up a bunch of my time. I work with the boy scouts too.
Do XC and ROTC workouts go hand-in-hand? Not really. PT is every Monday Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 in the morning. Then I have practice every day. It’s just tiring because you have wake up every morning, but it’s not bad.
What is one thing that not a lot of people know about you? I am a Native American Grass Dancer.
Really? Yup, through the Boy Scouts, I’m in a group called the Order of the Arrow, which is a honor society based of off scouting from Native American ideals. There’s Native American activities like drumming and dancing. So I’m apart of Native American dancing and drumming.
Are you part Native American? (laughs) No I’m not actually.