Walsh takes 4th at Albright

By Dave Damiano
November 3, 2006

Meet Justin Walsh, a sophomore on the men’s cross country team who recently finished fourth at the Albright fall invitational held last weekend in Reading, Pa. Every Saturday, the men’s cross country team faces tough opponents from all over Pennsylvania, and every week Walsh continues to lead the pack.

Walsh grew up in Springfield, Pa., but he didn’t start running at a competitive level until he moved and transferred to Devon Prep during his sophomore year in high school. Walsh said, “I knew I had the ability to run since I was very young. I had always done well in running events in gym class throughout elementary school and middle school.”

In 2001, Walsh started running for Devon Prep. Until then, he played tennis in school, but he decided to focus on cross country after discovering how close knit the team was. “While at Devon, I was able to expand on my running abilities. It was here that I decided to give up tennis to fully concentrate on running. We had a strong, tight-knit team as well as an outstanding coach,” Walsh said.

After graduating from Devon Prep, Walsh attended Villanova for a year. However, he was not able to run cross country there. Walsh said, “I did try out for the cross country team my freshman year. Unfortunanately, my only chance of making the team would be as a walk-on and their team only allows one walk on to make the team.” A walk-on is generally a player on the team who has not been recruited by the college.

Walsh also said, “To make a long story short, they held a four-mile race of all the walk-ons interested in joining the team, and the winner of that race would earn a spot on the team. I finished second in that race, just missing my chance to run for ‘Nova.”

After that, Walsh gave up training competitively until the summer of 2005, right before he transferred to Cabrini. Walsh is now in his second year at Cabrini studying exercise science and health promotion.

Walsh said, “I like the fact that cross country forces you to make some strong physical demands upon yourself, such as running high mileage, sometimes 70 miles a week, in order to keep your body in the proper condition to run competitively with other collegiate runners.”

Last year, Walsh was named to the first team all-conference team after finishing seventh in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference. He hopes to continue this again, and Walsh is showing his dominance. Over the last two weeks, Walsh finished third and fourth, respectively, in meets with over 87 runners.

On Saturday Oct. 28, Walsh ran in the 2006 PAC. The next two following Saturdays consist of National Collegiate Athletic Association Mid-East Regionals and the NCAA Division III Nationals.

When Walsh is not training or working on his studies, he spends time working at the Dixon Center. Walsh said, “I like working there a lot. It gives me the opportunity to surround myself in an environment that is along the lines of my major as well as a great working staff.”

Walsh said, “I also like the team aspect of the sport, where winning does not totally rely on an individual but squarely on team output.”

The Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@googlegroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Dave Damiano

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