DUNLAP, Ill. — Jeremy Blye’s introduction to cross country came when he was a freshman in high school.
“My mom said, ‘Jeremy, you should do a sport.’ I told her I wanted to play football,” Blye recalled. “She said, ‘You’re not doing that, you will die if you do that! Try cross country.’ I said what is that?”
Cross country and track are now the sports he can’t do without. But people at Dunlap High School know the senior runner another way.
He is the head photographer for the school yearbook. He says he’s had a camera in his hands since he was six or seven years old.
“I didn’t like it at first, I really didn’t understand how cameras worked. I took some classes on it,” Blye said. “I really got into it. Now I do it all the time.”
He shoots sporting events, the marching band and gets creative with head shots of students that wind up in the yearbook. Some days he would run races, get to the finish line, find his camera and then shoot the rest of the race.
“I used to do that,” Blye said with a laugh. “I would have a camera covered in sweat afterwards.”
So he doesn’t double up as a runner and photographer on race days. But he is a hit with his teammates whether he runs or not.
“He always had a camera in his hand,” said Dunlap cross country coach Chris Friedman. “When he want’t warming up for a race or running a race, he was shooting a race. Then he’d say ‘Hey, I know I’m not necessarily running an event at the next race. But can I go because I have my camera?”
That camera has made him a popular student.
“It’s nice hearing, ‘Hey Jeremy, those photos are really good,” said Blye. “It’s cool to hear ‘great job, that’s awesome, fantastic’.”