Freshman Runner Working Toward Top Ten

As a junior at Lansingburgh High School, Devin McGuirk was pretty fast. He was a soccer player and ran a mile in about six minutes.

That spring he started running track and ever since has focused on running. “I started putting in the work,” said McGuirk.

By his senior year, McGuirk had his mile time down to 4:40. Now as a runner on Hudson Valley’s Cross Country team, he seeks to improve even more to the point where he can finish top ten nationally.

“I want to get within the top ten,” he said, “Me and Coach were talking and he said it’s not an unreasonable goal.”

At practice, McGuirk runs about ten miles along with the rest of the team. Along with his own training, he runs about 60 miles a week.

This is down from the 70 to 75 miles a week McGuirk was running to train all summer.

By putting in so much work, he aims to further improve his time to the point where he would climb the ladder from around the 30-40 position that he would be in nationally right now to the top ten.

Finishing in the top ten would improve McGuirk’s chances of reaching his goal of eventually competing at the Division I level.

Last year the national champion in Junior College Division III, which Hudson Valley competes in, ran the 8 kilometer (4.97 miles) in 27:48.28. Hudson Valley’s top finisher came in 86th place.

The Viking’s Cross Country team is in a period of transition with a new head coach, Billy Obenauer, taking over this year.

“We’re both trying to feel things out,” said McGuirk, “I think he’s a really great coach. He definitely knows what hes talking about.”

The team is still trying to get more runners. In a Cross Country match a team’s top five runners count for points and the men’s team currently only has five, leaving them vulnerable to injuries. The women’s team also hopes to add a few runners.

According to McGuirk, the team is focused on improving every day. He said their goal is, “Just to be a solid team. Work as hard as we can, see where that gets us.”

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