My introduction into running began right at the beginning my freshman year of high school. My career is the life of an average runner chasing many local elites and future professional and Olympians.
As I started my freshman year, I committed myself to training hard to qualify for OHSAA State Cross Country Meet that fall. On the first week of the Fall Cross Country Season, in I believe 2010, I started off as a typical teenage runner fresh out of junior high into high school by blasting away every workout as hard as I could. I can recall my speed workouts being an all-out sprint as I would attempt to pass my freshman year coach, Mark Looney. Mark Looney, was sponsored by Power Bar and a two winner of the Buffalo Marathon in New York in 1998 and 1999.
With that being said, I was an over ambitious freshman wearing the flashiest and to what I saw the “coolest” shoes possible. I was chasing a certain logo we all know of, I just “did” it. This, along with the over paced workouts, led me into trouble. I landed up with a stress fracture in my tibia at the OHSAA Cross Country Regional in Troy, Ohio on 30 October 2010 “running” an 18:38.5 placing 99th.
This lead into my second year of high school, my mind was set on qualifying for the States Cross Country race. I started off the season with a win at the Shelby County Preview Cross Country Race (A win I would then repeat for the next two year). This season averaged around the mid-17 minute range for the 5000. The season was a good break out as I began to cut my times down to a 17:02, winning the Sidney Invite on September 24th 2011.
However, this big push and poor training shoes would come at a cost. I had to cut this season short, with yet another stress fracture. This year is was my lower fibula. Never less, I went to compete at districts with the injury. Taking off my boot, I set off and “ran” a 20:26.85 at the OHSAA Districts on October 22nd 2011 placing 70th. Hoping for a quick come back, I raced at the Nike Cross Midwest Regional race. It was clear I was not yet in shape or ready race as I merely broke twenty minutes running 19:59.1 on November 13th 2011 placing 314th.
As both my freshman and sophomore years of Cross Country ending short with injury, I thought to myself, “This is the year!” After my sophomore year of High School, I aimed to seek out one of the best coaches the area could offer. That summer, before breaking the 17’s, I spent many weekends and long hours at the Fairborn High School track under Bob Schul. Bob Schul is the only American to win a 5000 meter gold medal at the Olympic Games (1964 Tokyo).
My junior year of High School started off with another Shelby County Preview win and a third place finish at the Bob Schul Invitational behind Samuel Prakel (Now a Sub-4 Miler at the University of Oregan) and Clayton Murphy (Gold Medalist in the 800 meter at the 2016 Pan-American Games).
My times dropped to the mid-16’s throughout the season. The season comprised of three first-place finishes, three second-place finishes, and two third-place finishes. This is due to the coaching I had received from Bob Schul, as I learned everything from heart rate, mentality, to breathing properly. As I stated, ‘this was the year!’ Well, it truly was the year. On October 27th 2012 at the Troy regional course were I placed fourth place overall.
So here I was, I had finally qualified for the OHSAA State Cross Country meet. As the gun went off, I could only remember all the people counting on me to do well and the wisdom I had gained from Coach Schul. I crossed the finish line with a new Personal Best running 16:17.04 placing 23rd place overall putting me in All-Ohio Status, this was a second away from the Lehman Catholic High School 5000m record. It was truly a blessing for me and a long awaited goal.
After finally qualifying and racing at the state meet, well, now I had to do it again. It was my senior in high school and I was now the local “big name” runner as the likes of Samuel Prakel, Clayton Murphy, Samuel Warton (2016 All-American at Stanford and a Nike Nationals winner), and Megan Vogel (Multiple State Champion) had all graduated. New with the new leader seat, I had to adjust my way of racing as I was used to only being a follower. This season comprised of six first-place finishes and three second-place finishes. I ended the season with another trip to the state meet where the race started with, believe it or not, a false start. I finished and placed 22nd on November 2nd 2013. I also rounded up the year with a modest Personal Record in the 5000 at 16:02 at the Tawawa Scholarship 5k.
After that first four year plunge into the world of distance running, I figured had a lot more to improve. I can’t say at this point in my career I was addicted or hooked on running as I am now, rather more determined and intrigued with the sport. My high school success encouraged me to continue to run in college, where I am now.
My drive to improve led me to Saint Leo University, located roughly 35 minutes from downtown Tampa. A big jump from Ohio to Florida, fortunately for me, I am from a rural area…just as the area where Saint Leo University resides. It fit for me. At Saint Leo University I am currently coached by Kent Reiber who recently led the team into our successful 2015 season from winning the Sunshine State Conference Title, the NCAA D2 South Region Cross Country title and ultimately going to the national race in Joplin, Missouri.
Alongside the team, I remain under the tutelage of Bob Schul on my off seasons alongside a University of Richmond athlete, Andrew Testas and member of India’s Olympic Track and Field Team for the 5000, Karan Sachdeva.
As a sophomore in college I competed in eight events during the 2015 season for the Saint Leo Lions, scoring in four of those, I posted a season-best time of 26:37.10 at the Sunshine State Conference Championship 8K (10/24) which the team won for the second year in a row beating out Florida Southern College. Following the Conference Championship I went on to compete in both the NCAA South Region Championship 10K on November 7th 2015 and the NCAA Championship 10K on November 21st 2015, running 34:51.81 and 32:34.90 respectively. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect way to end my sophomore of college with a 10k Personal record at the NCAA D2 National meet and placing fourth on my team.
5000m – 16:02, 2013 Tawawa Park Scholorship 5k Run
8000m – 26:27.90 2014 Sandshark Invite
10000m – 32:34.9, 2015 NCAA D2 Cross County Nationals
Half-Marathon – 1:18, 2015 Gasparilla Half Marathon
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
Indy Mini Marathon, 2016, 106th
NCAA Division II Cross Country Nationals, 2015, 185th
NCAA Division II Cross Country South Region, 2015, 28th
Sunshine State Conference Championship XC, 2015, 12th
Indy Mini Marathon, 2015, 78th overall
Gasparilla Half Marathon, 2015, 28th overall
Santa Hustle Half Marathon Indy, 2014, 11th overall