Aiden Leise: Running with purpose


Gina Nguyen

Track and field joins the lineup of athletic offerings at MSMS.

Boatner Calhoun, Sports Editor

Hailing from Desoto County, senior Aiden Leise is a motivated, academically gifted student who, along with being interested in chess and music, holds the title of co-captain for the Blue Waves Cross Country team. 

Leise initially applied to MSMS solely because of his brother’s previous attendance at MSMS and educational opportunity the school gives, but the people, from residential life staff to fellow students, made the shift worth it.

“[At MSMS] I get to spend time with my friends 24/7 as opposed to only really on school days, maybe eight hours a day,” Leise said.

The change from his previous school to MSMS did not greatly affect his interests or academic performance. Instead, MSMS gave him more opportunities to further explore passions like chess, through the MSMS chess club, and music by playing percussion with the MSMS Blue Notes.

“Before [coming to MSMS], I would not have had the time at school to do band and chess and cross country or whatever else,” Leise said. “But now, I can.”

One interest that blossomed from attending MSMS, for Leise, is running. Before coming to MSMS, Leise’s only experience with running stemmed from some light jogging to stay healthy or his years playing recreational baseball. However, after joining the cross country team last year, it was love at first mile.

“I joined the team because I thought cross country really was not the most competitive sport so it would just be a fun way to go out and get some exercise,” Leise said. “And, turns out that I really enjoy it.”

For Leise, running cross country did not remain as just a fun way to exercise, but also an experience he continues to learn from. As a talented student with an ever-growing list of achievements, even recently being announced as a National Merit Semi-Finalist, Leise applies what he has learned from running to his everyday life and work habits.

“[Running is] not just about how fast you are, but also how hard you can push yourself,” Leise said. “When I am having trouble with something and I kinda think ‘I don’t want to do this’. When my mind is telling me to quit, I drown out that voice with willpower and motivation to get things done.”

Being co-captain this year is especially meaningful to Leise because, as a relatively new runner himself, he knows that he can be a good role model to juniors who may not have much experience.

“[Being co-captain] means that I can be an example for some of the new runners who haven’t done cross country before, being a new runner myself,” Leise said. “I can motivate those people who have not done it before and help them get better and not give up.”

Leise, undecided on what path he wants to take for his future, knows that he will go to college, but after that, who knows? However, as new opportunities arise and interests change, Leise remains steadfast in one thing. “The most important thing I have learned from my time at MSMS is that cos2(x) + sin2(x) = 1” Leise insisted.