One-time golfer Poole has lofty goals for St. Vincent cross country team
College Football Videos
He came to St. Vincent with just one year of high school cross country experience.
Three years later, Chansler Poole is one of the most decorated runners in Bearcats history, and he hopes to end his college career with an individual conference title.
It's been quite an about-face for a young man who aspired to be a golfer. Poole grew up loving the game, and his goal when he entered Penn-Trafford High School was to make the Warriors' golf team. Though he was a talented middle-distance runner in track, he never gave cross country a thought.
Poole never made the golf team. Finally, in his senior year, his track coach became Penn-Trafford's cross country coach and persuaded Poole to give it a try. He wound up finishing 27th at the WPIAL Class AAA championship, good enough to qualify for the PIAA meet.
“I was still very new to the idea of racing longer distances,” said Poole. “I was pretty much just used to racing the mile in track. Even going into freshman year coming in here, I was still very new to the concept of it.”
New or not, Poole showed an immediate flair for cross country. Perhaps not coincidentally, Poole's arrival in Latrobe began what has become a string of three straight Presidents' Athletic Conference titles for the Bearcats. Their first title in his freshman year — the first year St. Vincent became eligible for PAC postseason — ended Grove City's 20-year stranglehold on the title.
Individually, Poole has placed fourth twice and second (last year) and qualified for the NCAA Division III meet twice. He also holds the school record for a five-mile race at 25 minutes, 15 seconds.
“We knew he had potential, but we never could have imagined he would blossom like this,” said coach Andy Herr.
Poole still has a couple items on his to-do list despite his litany of accomplishments. He wants to win the elusive individual PAC title and earn all-America status at the NCAA meet.
To achieve those, Poole said he put in more mileage over the past summer than any previous year. He said it will help him have more endurance, which he believes was what hurt him in the past.
The results already are evident. In the season-opening Duquesne duals, competing against mostly Division I runners, Poole placed sixth overall and covered the course in 26:29 — a time he said is more than a minute better than he had run this early in the season at any point in his college career.
“I don't want to come off as being too overconfident,” said Herr, “but I really think, watching Chansler run right now, I think he's got a great shot of winning conference.”
Poole's stiffest competition figures to come from Grove City's Arleigh McCrae and Thomas More's Matt Wurtzler, who placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at PACs last year.
Of course, Poole's not focused solely on individual accolades. There's a fourth PAC team title and a berth in the NCAAs to think about. The Bearcats have never been to NCAAs, missing out by one spot at regionals during Poole's freshman year.
“I honestly think this is the best team we've ever had,” he said, “so I definitely think we can get the fourth. I wasn't expecting our team to kind of take control of the PAC and start like a dynasty,”
Poole still has the golfing bug. He spent four summers working at a golf course, and he does get out to play on occasion. Just for fun, of course.
“Now I can just go out and try and beat my dad,” he said.
Chuck Curti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Valley grad Brennan leads W&J tennis team into PAC finals
- After long wait to be a starter, Forsythe producing big yards for Waynesburg
- District college notebook: Debo sets Edinboro career goals record
- District football preview: The Rock, IUP look to keep pace in PSAC West
- Cal U hopes to avoid getting ‘trapped’
- Slippery Rock slips up in ‘surreal’ trip to Big House
- VND Campus clippings: Leechburg graduate Barto picks up initial college victory at Gannon
- District college notes: St. Vincent names women’s assistant coach
- Jeannette grad, Mount Union not taking opponent lightly in ‘mismatch”