The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: Michael Atkins is the next Adam Swanson

If both Adam Swanson and Michael Atkins keep training together throughout the season, I think Michael will be the next Adam for next season.

Fifth-year senior Adam Swanson is the best runner on the men’s cross-country team, and many of his teammates have stated that Swanson runs “a race of his own,” and there is no changing that.

Sophomore runner Michael Atkins has been training with Adam for a while now, and the two have been killing practices and training.

With that being said, this brings up the question: Will Michael Atkins become the next Adam Swanson?

Last year, during the 2021-2022 cross-country season, Atkins sustained multiple injuries that limited him; however, Atkins has been improving with every meet and every practice this year.

Running under 25 minutes (sub 25) at the Louisville Cross Country Classic meet on Sept. 30 was a big goal for Atkins, and he achieved it. Atkins finished 95th in the race with a time of 24:57.5

Swanson finished fifth at the same meet and was named OVC Runner of the Week days later.

Arguably, if Atkins continues at the rate he is going, he’s bound to become the next Adam Swanson of his own.

Each runner is different; they all have their running techniques and ways of going about things, but when two runners become running partners and heavily train together, they begin to pick up on things from each other.

Many things make a great runner, and these two lack no qualities in that field.

Having experience in track throughout high school, I know the sport of cross-country takes a lot of endurance and mental skill to push through to the end.

When the team finds a groove like Swanson has found, anyone can see the results.

Atkins has the stamina, the drive and the courage to push himself and to be pushed to be one of, if not the best runner on the team.

In the past meets, Atkins has finished in the top five for Eastern. Collectively at meets, Atkins normally runs a 25-minute race.

With each race and every practice, there has been noticeable progress being made by Michael and it is only up from here.

This is proof that there is the possibility and where the question arises of whether Michael is the next Adam.

With the constant improvements from practices and meets, I believe Michael Atkins will be the next Adam Swanson.

Mackenzie Harrell can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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