Patrick Leahy joined us as a freshman. He comes from a running family, as his sister Colleen ran top 7 for the girls Varsity a few years back, and his twin sister Molly currently runs with Coach McCabe and the girl’s cross country team. Patrick is an excellent student (I had him in class) and exhibits more school spirit than just about anyone. He led the troops in offering support to the varsity top seven at the state meet last November.
Patrick urged his teammates to make the most of the four years they have at HC. He offered the suggestion of finding someone close to them ability wise that could become a training partner, as the workouts become more manageable when you have someone to run with (for him, Sunil Dommaraju has sometimes been this person). Patrick told the team, with genuine conviction, that everyone on who is a member of HCXC is important – as improvement is measured against yourself rather than others. And he echoed previous seniors in describing his teammates as “really nice.”
Matt McBrien is also a four year member of our team. His work ethic is tremendous, which as resulted in him earning a spot in the top 7 last year, where he finished 60th in state, the best 6th man of any team (in fact, he would have made top 5 for every other team). Matt has been a true leader for us, in both word and deed.
He told the team the story of how he started running. His family had moved from Denver when he was in middle school, nad his Mom informed him that she signed him up for summer running camp, so he could ‘stay in shape for tennis and la crosse.’ Matt recalled that he both liked and hated running. He would come home after practice, lie on his couch, and complain. He remembered one particular run early in his career. It was at Graue Mill, and he was running with Graham Reid, who was a year younger and heading into 8th grade. After three miles, Graham wanted to do more. It was Matt’s first lesson in being pushed by a teammate.
His last story involved watching Kevin Huang at the Hornet Red-Devil invite, when Matt was a freshman and Kevin was a Sophomore. Matt, new to the sport, had just run over 14:00 for a 3200 time trial. He watched Kevin run in the season’s opening race and finish 7th overall in the Sophomore, and was in awe. A year later, Matt himself was 7th. And Matt and Kevin became bonded for life, two years later, as they both hoisted up at state championship trophy.