Gibsonia native John Reed hits ground running for RPI cross country team
On Sept. 2, Aquinas Academy grad John Reed celebrated his birthday by running his first collegiate cross country race for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Gibsonia native made it memorable by taking first out of 74 competitors at the Kinetic Running Cardinal Classic at Plattsburgh State. His time of 15 minutes, 48 seconds on the 5K course was 2 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
“I was really nervous for that race, with it being my first college race and everything,” Reed said. “And for it to be my birthday that day, too, it just made it even more special. It was really cool.”
Reed was honored as Liberty League Men's Cross Country Rookie of the Week.
“One of my teammates showed it to me online, and it was just a really cool thing to see,” Reed said. “I remember some of the upperclassmen were talking about how they got it in past years when they were freshmen, and they were telling us that it was something to shoot for as a younger guy on the team.”
Reed has kept up his strong start, helping RPI rise to a No. 7 ranking in Division III, the highest in school history.
Reed, who also competed in track and field, swimming and soccer in high school, said he constantly is setting high expectations for himself.
“I knew that we had a really good team coming in, so most of my goals and expectations for the season were time-based,” he said.
“I was thinking that I want to hit this time at this race or try to PR at this event. I definitely think that the first race I ran this season helped me settle in and see that I could be a lot more competitive out there.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.