Today we salute Ethan Hermann of Taylor Allderdice.
Hermann had a terrific career at Allderdice. He had a great senior season, starting in the fall with cross country. Hermann earned top ten performances at McDowell, the Red, White & Blue Classic, the Boardman Spartan Invitational, and the Manhattan Invitational. He ran a career best 5K time of 15:48 at Red, White & Blue. He then took second in District 8 and 69th in AAA at states.
On the track, Hermann won District 8 titles in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He finished up his career with PRs of 4:41.18 for 1,600 meters and 9:49.31 for 3,200 meters. He answered some questions for PennTrackXC, reflecting on his career.
Throughout the end of June and through July we we be honoring our graduating seniors. To submit your own questionnaire to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What was your most memorable race/competition?
My most memorable race had to have been the Manhattan HS Invitational in New York City this year. We always travel 7 hours by van to attend this meet, and it's by far the biggest meet Allderdice goes to. I'd been wanting to go out with a bang at Manhattan, and this year I knew my team had the ability. Every single member of our team made an impact in the race, with my teammate Tavonne taking 3rd and me taking 6th, and we got 2nd as a team in our race, winning a tiebreaker! We all got shirts and a trophy, and had the best finish ever for an Allderdice team in NYC.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
I faced my biggest competition at the Boardman Spartan Invitational in Ohio. Every year, some powerhouse teams from Western PA go to the meet, along with a ton of Ohio's best. The races are huge, and there are plenty of legit teams who run there. There were around 380 runners in our race this year! It made for insanely packed races and intense competition.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
My race at Boardman this year was actually my biggest accomplishment as a runner, because it was the strongest race I've ever run. I got 10th out of an insane field, featuring other PA guys like Noah Beveridge and Dan McGoey, and I ran my heart out. It wasn't a PR, and the conditions were pretty bad due to the heat, but I fought off a nagging foot injury through the race and led the way for my team.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
If I could change anything from my high school athletic career, it would probably be giving up my high school travel basketball to run indoor track. If I had known how far I was going to progress in high school, I would've pushed harder earlier on for my indoor seasons. My school doesn't have an indoor program, so I just opted out during the winter months.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Getting a right ankle sprain with a hairline fracture less than two weeks before the start of my sophomore cross country season was a big obstacle for me, as I had to miss the first three weeks of the season. I wasn't 100% until the end of the season, and pushing through that was both mentally and physically tough. You have to be confident in getting back to running, because it was jarring when I started back up. Running in fear of another injury is tough.
What will you miss the most?
I'll miss the feeling you get after a race the most. That complete and utter exhaustion coupled with joy and relief, it's the most rewarding feeling. Having the ability to say that I just ran that race for my teammates and my school is something I always cherished.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Hard work pays off. I can't stress it enough. In my first high school cross country race I ran a 19:44, and I ended up with a PR of 15:48. The work you put in on the back end will show, and you can always get better. But don't forget to listen to your body. Some days you need to go slow and relax, and your body will thank you. Running is unforgiving, so make sure you're a smart runner as well as a fast one.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
My coach, Ed Flynn, ran at the University of Pennsylvania. That's all he needs as an introduction. He's been coaching at Allderdice since the 80's, and his methods never fail. He's the best at preparing us for each race differently, tailoring our workouts for the course and competition we have ahead of us. He's put me in the best position to succeed, and his drive has allowed me to translate my practices in running to my habits in school. My grades were always high quality because I practiced the same methods with my work that I did with my running.
What are your post-high school plans?
After a hard look at many potential schools to run in college, including taking a visit to Carnegie Mellon University right down the road from my house, I decided to not partake in varsity running in college. I will be attending Drexel University's Pennoni Honors College in the fall, for a 5-year program to get a BS in Economics. I will never stop running, and I plan on running for Drexel's Club Track team, while also trying my hand at the Philadelphia Half Marathon this November!
A shoutout to my brother, Adam, for inspiring me to want to run. A shoutout to Floyd and Amadou, two friends and former teammates who put me on my path in high school. A shoutout to Tavonne, for being the one person I was okay losing to this past year, and for being part of one of the best 1-2 punches any PA team had this year. A shoutout to my parents for being my biggest supporters, to my friend Reise for making track meets bearable, and to my some quick guys Tristan and Noah, for being class acts while also fast as hell. Lastly, to all of my fellow PA runners out there doing their thing, keep it up!