ELMWOOD, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Elmwood-Brimfield senior Isaiah Hill is having the best season of his running career.

He says it’s because he didn’t have success as a sophomore.

“I had a bad season that year but it made a lot of things clear,” Hill said. “Like how you have to work to get what you want.”

So Hill started looking at YouTube videos of successful runners. He studied those races like the straight-A student studies math and science.

His coach says Hill became a student of running.

“It’s not surprising,” said Elmwood-Brimfield cross country coach Gregg Meyers. “Because look at Scholastic Bowl, WYSE, the chess team, robotics and all the other teams he is on and you’d think ‘There’s a guy that will be a student of others.’ Once he became a student of this, it became on one his fortes.”

Hill is on his school’s chess and robotics teams. He’s been a part of winning scholastic bowl teams and competes in WYSE, that stands for Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering.

“We take tests like biology and math. Highest score wins,” said Hill. “It’s a chance to show what you learn in school.”

This week the regional and sectional champ gets to race against Illinois’ best high school runners at the state meet. Even if he doesn’t finish first at Detweiller Park Saturday, odds are pretty good he’ll finish first in his class.

Hill is on pace to be the class valedictorian at Brimfield High School.

“Being an athlete takes time out of your daily life,” said Hill. “It’s gratifying to know that even though you lose extra time to study and do homework that I can still succeed.”