Milesplitmass decided to follow a High School Senior preparing for the upcoming Collegiate Cross-Country Season. We could have tracked one of our High School superstars following them as they prepare for the next level. After reading some of the Senior Salutes, we feel that we have opened up some fantastic stories. One of these stories is Sandwich High School Senior Danny Branco, a hard working runner that has the heart and desire to run on the next level if given the chance. Many Division 1 college coaches have times and standards that each runner has to accomplish to even be considered for their team. Like so many High School athletes, Danny might be just below some of those standards. Danny will blog his journey as he tries to catch the eye and make the University of Rhode Island Cross-Country Team this fall. We hope he will achieve this goal, but if he falls short we hope this blog can inspire other runners to follow their dream because " You never know, until you try."
Danny's Training Blog
Let me start off by explaining what this blog is about.
For three years I have watched, participated, and enjoyed the thrills of high school trackand cross country, and seen amazing feats pulled off by gifted of athletes. The comradery that is associated with these sports, I believe, is the strongest of any sport in the world. The varsity athletes more often are looked upon for example, guidance, and even awe. I believe there are two types of varsity athletes. The first type is an all-round natural athlete, a person with the perfect combination of work ethic and athletic genes which allow them to run the fastest and farthest, clear the highest pole, and throw the farthest out of all the others. These varsity track stars usually receive the highest praise as they win most of the competition. The second type of varsity athlete, however, may not receive as much of the praise that they deserve. They are the ones following close, if not right behind the lead runners, they are the ones who can almost clear that jump, but not quite, the ones who may throw only second/third-farthest. These varsity athletes have been blessed with a gift just like the first type, but perhaps they lack the motivation that does not push their raw skill to the maximum performance level. Or maybe their natural skills are not quite as good, so they compensate with a strong will to keep pushing. Whatever the case, these varsity runners usually miss out on future opportunities to run
at a collegiate level because the school only wanted to recruit the best of the best athletes. So, for a lack of better words, they may be good, but not quite good enough, and their track/cross country careers end with high school’s senior year.
Well, this blog is a tribute to those varsity runners who never seem to make it on top. I am a part of this type of varsity athlete, and I know the chances of a college recruiting me for my running performance are very slim. However, it does not stop me from trying to make a name for myself. I will be trying out for URI’s cross country/track team as a walk-on athlete this fall. This August, I will be training with my old high school team as well as completing some work-outs the college sent me to keep me in shape. Hopefully, this fall, the coach and the team will accept me, and other athletes like me who feel they don’t have much of a chance to keep up with the sport after high school ends. This blog will document the rest of my training as the summer ends and tryouts begin. Maybe it will be inspiration for others like me to chase something bigger and grander than what they experienced in high school (not that high school wasn’t a great experience, but people should use that as a base to explore new opportunities out in the world).
I guess the point that I’m trying to get across is this: don’t be discouraged from trying out for a college team because you feel the team has enough recruited athletes, and they don’t want to be bothered with you. They want to see you run/sprint/throw/jump, they want to see new skills develop in you and new work ethics emerge, and they want to help you be the best you can be. Don’t be shy, and chase your dreams, whatever they may be. But certainly don’t turn down a chance to be a part of a college team, and be left with the nagging question of what could have been. You never know, until you try.
Follow Danny and read about his journey @ Dannystraining Blog