With his iPod in hand, head phones blocking out the rest of the world, and running shoes on his feet, Tate listened to the rapper’s lyrics on repeat several times during the days leading up to the 2013 CIF State Cross Country Championships as a sophomore at Saugus High School.
“I love his music and message, but his background is also very inspiring,” says Tate. “He grew up extremely poor with no dad and pretty much a dead beat mom and lived in a trailer park in a very ghetto town, and the only way he could get out of there was through rapping.”
It is Eminem’s story, as well as an exceptional work ethic and focus towards the sport, that enabled Tate and his Saugus teammates to capture the school’s first-ever boys state championship on Nov. 30, 2013.
A state championship was never a guarantee when it came to Tate’s future though. Before his sophomore year he competed in baseball, flag football, karate and soccer, but never cross country.
It was not until his physical education teacher noticed he had a talent for running that Tate decided to join a program that is vying for its 10th consecutive state cross country championship this fall.