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: Why you should watch running sports

Ashanti Thomas

About a month ago, Eastern’s men’s cross-country team took five players to the NCAA Regionals meet in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The team had won the Ohio Valley Conference championship two weeks before regionals, so they were going into the biggest meet of the year quite hot.

Aside from team success, there was also an individual storyline forming. In the two weeks leading up to regionals, there were talks of fifth-year senior runner Adam Swanson making a bid for Nationals.

This is an incredibly hard feat, one that only a single runner has done at Eastern in 20 years (shoutout Dustin Hatfield). Yet, Swanson was running at the level of a national runner.

When it came time for regionals to begin, all eyes from Eastern were on Swanson. The gun sounded, the runners took off, and somewhat shockingly, Swanson was leading the pack of nearly 200 runners from the top schools in the Midwest. Swanson was keeping up with runners from cross-country powerhouses like Oklahoma State University and Iowa State, something Eastern fans thought possible, but not probable.

Watching Swanson up at the top of the pack, weaving effortlessly between nationally ranked runners, calculating his next moves; It was one of the most exciting moments in sport that I have ever witnessed.

I truly feel for the sporting fans who regard running sports as uninteresting or boring. I was once one of these fans. I believed cross country, as well as track and field, was quite boring compared to more flashy sports like football or basketball.

As I entered college and began experiencing more sports, I realized how much I had missed.

Running sports have constant action with runners rising and falling within seconds. Your favorite may start slow but mount a miraculous comeback. The entire race is competitive; There are no breaks, only the school’s top athletes going up against other school’s top athletes.

While the cross-country season has come to a close, the track season is just beginning. Track really embodies that competitive spirit that all running sports inherently have. One sprinter against the other, who is faster, stronger, and more agile.

If you tune in to running sports, I promise you will enjoy it. Don’t allow a great experience to pass you up, watch a running sport.

Aidan Cusack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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