1) How did you get your start in running?
While I ran a lot as a kid, my first introduction to formal races was through the Marin Memorial Day runs and the Dipsea. My success was fairly limited, however, until I moved abroad for a year to live in Paris. I joined the high school team as a 7th grader and, experiencing training for the first time, realized I had potential. I instantly fell in love with the sport. I valued the concept that success could only come from hard work, and cutting corners wasn’t an option. Every race was a testimony to who wanted it more, and the sense of achievement and satisfaction of winning a race seemed unparalleled. My parents were supportive of my endeavor and accompanied me in various larger scale races before high school, exposing me to races bigger than the ones I ran in middle school.
2) What other sports have you played besides cross country?
I have participated in almost every sport available to me over the years: baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, and skiing, if that counts. Every sport captivates me, and selecting which ones to drop and which ones to continue has been a huge challenge.
3) How did you end up at Marin Academy?
When considering what schools to apply to, aspects of MA caught my eye. The community was inviting, and every student seemed to be happy overall. The campus contained an air of rigorous academics and athletics, yet incorporated a sense of joy in its students. I love the school and its community and haven’t ever regretted this choice.
4) Tell us a little about your freshman season in cross country. Highlights?
Originally having no clue where I stood in terms of talent and ability, I looked up to my teammates for guidance. My first race I simply followed my team, and feeling good well into the race, surged to the front and actually won. This instilled a sense of self-confidence, and until racing Connor Clark, I remained undefeated in league meets with my teammate James Kinney. My highlights last year were placing second in my league, top ten in the Stanford invitational, earning fourth in NCS and ninth overall in State.
5) You played Lacrosse in the spring. How often have people tried to convince you to run track?
Constant bombardments to try and make me run track had almost convinced me, but still I chose lacrosse for this year. Although cross country and track are team sports, lacrosse has a stronger sense of camaraderie, for individual success is hardly possible without the team. The sport requires a completely different set of skills and training which I find rewarding and satisfying. The contrast between the two sports makes me appreciate running more as well. I was fortunate enough to start on Marin Academy’s team last year, which won the NCS Title. It was quite an experience and by the end of the season our team had become a family.
6) What did you do differently (training wise) this summer heading into your 2nd cross country season?
The summer before my freshman year, I actually didn’t do much training before the season. Unaware of it's importance, my only preparation was a five day trip to Tahoe with my team a couple weeks before the commencement of school. This past summer, I took my training more seriously. I ran on a regular basis and participated in a runner camp at Stanford for a week. I began the summer by training for the Dipsea Race. The work this summer made the transition to this year’s cross country season much easier, having built a strong base during the summer months.
7) What was the race that gave you the confidence that you could run with the best runners in the state?
There wasn’t one individual race that gave me self confidence, but rather it came in steps. When I won the D-V Stanford Invitational earlier this season, I was ecstatic, but my time didn’t compare to some of the other D-V runners who competed in the seeded race. My first big win in a BCL meet happened several weeks later when I beat Connor Clark who was the best runner in our league and a really tough competitor. This win and a first place finish at NCS opened my eyes to the fact that I could stay in the field with great runners and gave me the confidence to run against any competitor.
8) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you develop into the runner you are today.
My team is coached by numerous coaches and each one is fantastic, but the head coach is Ken Ellingboe. He cares a lot about each runner and dedicates huge amounts of time to our training program, which proved effective as our team peaked during NCS and State. His ability to motivate the team is exceptional and is only one of many factors that set him apart. He keeps us focused on the big picture and the goals we have set for ourselves. He puts a lot of emphasis on teamwork and how we can support each other throughout the season. A huge portion of both my and the team’s success is purely due to Ken’s and the other coaches’ efforts.
9) What about James Kinney? You have given him a lot of credit for your success. How has he helped you?
James was our team captain this year and has been the ideal leader for our team. I can’t recall any practice during which he hasn’t been present to lead. He adds a mixture of humor and tenaciousness to every workout, inspiring everyone to do their best, yet making sure people also enjoy themselves. He has been an essential training partner for me as well. He constantly pushes me during training and even races when I needed some extra motivation. Having someone who can match your speed is a huge advantage because you can push and work off each other. As I stated earlier, I don’t think I would have been able to win State without his help throughout the season.
10) Favorite xc course? Favorite xc invitational? Favorite xc workout? Favorite long run? Favorite opponent(s)?
My favorite XC course has to be the State course at Woodward Park. It incorporates hills and different terrain, yet it’s fast, allowing runners to get a PR. Also the final stretch of this course has a perfect view of the finish line which allowed me to judge better when I needed to start my kick. My favorite XC Invitational is, without a doubt, the Stanford Invitational. This is a colossal race including many high schools and colleges. Running before or after a college race is an incredible experience, and shows you a glimpse of the sport at the next level. My favorite workout would have to be 400-800 repeats. The distance is short enough to be fast, yet after multiple laps you immediately feel its effect. Luckily I live next to Phoenix Lake in Marin County where I can enjoy long runs around the reservoir or in the hills of Mt Tam. I don’t have any particular favorite trail, but the scenery and trails are phenomenal. My favorite opponent would probably be Connor Clark of University High School. Not only do our schools have a great sports rivalry, but we have competed head to head over the last two years during many XC races. Connor is a great athlete, a good guy and a real competitor. I’ll miss the challenge he consistently presents next year.
11) Tell us about your state meet race. What was the plan going into the race? How did the race unfold and when did you think you had a chance to win?
To be honest I didn’t have much of a plan entering the race, only the notion to stick with John Whelan. I had never raced John before, but I knew he had a great reputation. John likes to be out front in races and was predicted to win but still there were several other runners who had the chance for the title. For the first mile, the front pack was huge, consisting of eight plus runners, but slowly the pack started to separate. At the second mile mark, I was in third place, behind both John and Connor. Hurting, I decided to let them fight each other and just get into range where I could sprint if I had the energy. With about 200m left, I saw the finish line, giving me enough incentive to kick into high gear. It was quite the battle at the end, but luckily I crossed the finish line first.
12) Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank my family and coaches for providing unparalleled support and encouragement. Your belief in me made me reach higher and achieve things I never thought conceivable. I can’t thank you all enough.
Thank you very much for your time Trevor! AJC