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'Right now, someone else is getting better'

Updated: January 31, 2010, 10:57 AM ET
By Chad Konecky | ESPN RISE

When you distill to its essence what it takes -- mentally and physiologically -- to be a world-class athlete, what remains, if you ask me, is fear. Not fear in the traditional sense of the word. More like a wariness. A check over the shoulder to see if anyone is gaining.

Sandburg (Orland Park, Ill.) sophomore Lukas Verzbicas, honored in conjunction with ESPN RISE earlier this week as the 2009-10 Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, has what he calls "a bad habit" of ...

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