St. Edward Cross Country: An Inside Look

In September, the St. Edward cross country team travelled to Dayton for a cross race. The team got 1st place in Division 1, giving Head Coach Nate Brannen a good look at how the Eds team compares to its D1 competitors. In this article, sophomore Ian Harrington gives a brief perspective of how the race went for him.

The Morning of: I woke up feeling prepared and well rested. I made my way to the breakfast at the hotel and ate a bit too much. When we got on the bus, my stomach had already turned over the food and I was not feeling too hot. When we got to the course, it was already pushing 80 degrees and the humidity was higher than it was the previous day. We ran a 2 mile warm up and activated, and I was feeling like I was about to puke.

The Race: We lined up at the start with about 250 runners on our right and left sides. The gun went off and more than half the runners sprinted towards the front, with most of the Eds racers sticking back. I came in at the mile at 5:35 with freshman Brenden Carney on my heels. We were the last two racers for Eds and it stays that way for the duration of the race. My stomach felt better at the mile, but my leg power slowly regressed after the first hill. I saw some of my teammates up ahead of me, but my conscience would not allow for me to pick it up and catch them. I came in at the second mile at around a 6:10 and proceeded to drop back once more. At this point, the continuous pounding and laborious breathing got to my head and I really started to drop away. To maintain focus during a race is one of the hardest things I have done in my life, and is probably why I struggle when racing. However, at around 800 meters to go, I picked up my pace. I did this all the way through the finish, crossing the 3rd mile at a 5:55. Alas my last 100 meters was extremely slow and I crossed the line at 18:30 which is the exact cutoff time for varsity. I dropped back a place on the team after this race and I was not exactly happy with the time as it was 30 seconds off my personal record. After that tough race, I realized that my main focus now is to race at the Legends Meet with Daniel Condrich and (hopefully) he will pull me through for a PR and a spot on the district team.
-Ian Harrington ‘22