PA Salute To Seniors: Benjamin McAuley - North East
What was your most memorable race/competition?
My most memorable race was in the Hershey Foudation invite this year. What made it amazing was that I was in almost dead last by the first 400 because I was trying to take it out calmly (too calm). What was amazing was that my peers watching my race expected a pretty bad one, or at least a let down. From that point I moved up to finish 23rd overall and out-kick 3 people from poop out hill to the finish!
Where did you face your biggest competition?
The biggest competition I faced would also have to be team wise. Quaker Vally had a great team this year and they deserve all the recognition for their great work in both Cross country and track. Great work guys!
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
My biggest accomplishment I would have to say would be taking second as a team at this years state meet. It meant so much that our team could pull something like this together and preseason-wise at least we were not expected to do much in the state. We made a big bang this year and showed that North East is still a Cross country powerhouse.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
If I could change anything, I would have started running cross country as a freshman. I played football instead, and I believe I could have been much better with an extra year under my belt, but everything happens for a reason and I'm happy with where I ended up.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was in my junior track season when I had both tendonitis in my Achilles tendon and a stress fracture on the same leg. It was tough not being able to practice at all and always bike, but I never missed a race that season!
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my team, they are family to me, and we are all best of friends. One person I will miss on an extreme level is Coach Miller. He molded me into the runner I am now and I wouldn't be in my position without him.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
The best advice is to just get out and run. Don't make it a chore to run, but rather an amazing experience. The more joy you find in running, the better you will be and the more amazing your experience will be.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
Obviously from what I have said my coach has been very influential, he has taught me to work hard, but has let me have fun doing it. Another coach I thank is Coach Halli Reid, she handles all the logistics and even argued to the school board when our team was not given any attention by the school over our second place finish at States. Both my coaches are the greatest in the world!
What are your college plans?
I am going to Waynesburg University. I will be majoring in Nursing and will continue my career in running in Cross Country and track under the guidance of Coach Chris Hardie.
My Mother and father for being so supportive.
My coaches for showing me the way.
My family for supporting and cheering me on.
The team always having my back.
Most Importantly God for showing me the way and keeping me strong in all the rough times I faced in my young career.