What made you come to Lebanon Valley College? Where did you come from and how did you hear about our institution?
I came to Lebanon Valley College for a number of different reasons. Most important was that the school offered the major that I was interested in and also offered a six year program [in physical therapy] exclusively at LVC, where many of the other schools in the area either offered longer programs or you had to transfer schools halfway through your schooling. Secondly, Lebanon Valley College offered me the chance to run Cross Country, as I was in contact with former Coach Kent Reed during my senior year. Also when I visited the school in the summer of 2005, I felt very at home and comfortable on the campus and it seemed to me to be a place that I would enjoy spending the next 4-6 years of my life.
What is you major and why did you choose it?
I am a Physical Therapy Major, going into my fourth year in the six year Doctoral program. Ever since I was a young child I have been interested in a career in the medical field where I get to help others. I’ve also always wanted a career that works with athletes in some capacity. After going to Physical Therapy numerous times for my own injuries, I realized that this was a career that was a natural fit for my personality and my interests.
What do you plan on doing upon graduation with your degree?
After I graduate from LVC the 2nd time around (after six years), I hope to get a job as a Physical Therapist and have the opportunity to start out with other knowledgeable therapists and learn more about the field and different techniques and procedures that you do not always learn in a classroom setting. Ultimately my goal is to have my own Physical Therapy clinic in the future, a clinic that works with all types of people but works specifically with athletes.
What is your favorite part about being a member of the LVC cross country program?
The best part of the LVC XC team is definitely the friendships that we share and the camaraderie that we have as a team. Both the men and women’s teams not only practice and compete together but also are very close as groups. Since we are a smaller team, we often know everything that is going on in each others lives and this makes it a lot like a family. For the guys our team has been known to have some dinners that last an hour to an hour and a half where we sit and talk about whatever is going on and postpone our studies for as long as possible. The seniors that graduated last year did a great job in building team unity and I only hope that the upperclassmen can continue that this year.
What is your favorite type of workout? Is there any one particular workout that you can remember that was challenging but made you a better runner for it?
My favorite type of workout is probably our longer threshold runs (for those of you not sure what this means, it is at the level where you are just starting to feel exerted but not struggling to breathe like you would be during sprinting or fast training). These runs which may last for five or more miles allows us to run at a consistent pace for a long period of time. One workout which made me stronger but definitely challenged me physically and mentally was an 8 by 1200 workout that the team did my freshmen year under Coach Harrison. This workout, which was run at close to race pace, was still talked about last year by Coach O’Brien and some of the seniors as one workout that was really tough.
What are your short term and long term running related goals, both team and individual?
Since this is my final year of cross country at LVC, I hope to lower my times and hopefully run 28:30 or under by the end of the season. Personally, my aim for this season is to come off of the best summer training (by far) of my life and use that and Coach O’Brien’s training to help me continue to improve as a runner. Although the team we have is very young, I feel like we have tremendous potential and could surprise some people this season. The key is going to be all of us working together as a team, pushing each other through workouts and make sure everyone does what is needed to help us achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves. Long-term, I plan on continue running, but I’m planning on starting to getting involved in some triathlon type events over the next couple of years. Since I am still going to be at LVC, I plan on doing some of my running with the team if at all possible and trying to help out the team reach the top of the MAC conference. In the little over a year since Coach O’Brien was named the Cross Country coach, he has shown a tremendous commitment to his athletes as runners and as people, and a commitment to Lebanon Valley College. With his tireless recruiting efforts and his strides to become more knowledgeable about running, I see nothing but great things ahead for the LVC Cross Country program, and hopefully we can begin that path to success!
What hobbies, sports, or other leisure time activities do you enjoy most?
I am a huge sports fan and enjoy watching a variety of sports. I especially love college football and basketball because of the passion and enthusiasm that the athletes play with, and my ability to relate to that energy. I am a huge Phillies fan, as well as a big San Francisco 49ers and Michigan Wolverines fan, so if they are playing chances are I am trying to get information from someone if I can’t watch the game myself. I enjoy playing a lot of different sports as well, especially Basketball, but I have to watch what I do during the season because even a minor injury can really impede your running progress. On campus I am involved in Physical Therapy Club, Community Dutchmen (a club that works with the Lebanon County Special Olympics), Psychology Club, LVC SAAC and Psi Chi. I also enjoy spending time with my friends and my family, which includes my twin brother Nate 21, and my little brother Tyler 15 and Meagan 13.
What's your favorite type of food?
Although it may not appear like it, I have quite a big appetite and my mom is an amazing cook. There are so many things that I like that it is hard for me to pick out just one thing, but I’m really a huge dessert fan, especially fruit pies!
What makes you unique? Do you have any special talents or something else that you’d like to share that others would find interesting?
Having an identical twin brother is definitely unique, and something that a lot of people at the Valley do not know. When I first got to college I was so used to high school and people knowing that I had a twin brother that I sometimes forgot that no one knew both of us. We look a lot alike, and when he visits for the weekend it confuses a lot of people. He is a senior Meteorology major at Millersville University, and a former runner, but injuries and his involvement in intramural sports has limited the amount of time that he spends running.
Why should a high school junior or senior take a more serious look at LVC?
Lebanon Valley College is a top rate college that offers outstanding academics with a host of well respected extracurricular activities. We have top of the line athletic facilities, which will be even better in a few years as well as athletic teams which have been making great progress in the last few years. LVC Athletics quite possibly had its greatest season ever last year, but if athletics is not for you we have a variety of clubs and activities for people to get involved in. Combine this with the home-like feel of the college, the small class sizes and the amazing people and you have a top of the line educational facility that is well-respected and a great place to spend four of the most important and exciting years of your life!