Throughout the summer, we will be honoring graduating seniors with our annual Salute to Seniors series! To submit your own questionnaires to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After emerging onto the scene as a standout freshman, Twomey continued to progress and had a great career in XC and on the track. He was a four-time state qualifier in XC, running to a best of 22nd in the state as a junior. He was a part of LaSalle's state title XC team in 2017. His 5K XC best was 15:37 from the 2019 Paul Short Run.
On the track, he was the anchor leg on LaSalle's state championship-winning DMR from the 2019 PTFCA Indoor State Championships. He ran PRs of 1:58 in the 800 meters, 4:21 in the 1,600 meters and indoor mile, 9:07 in the indoor 3K and 9:27 in the 3,200 meters.
The Saint Joseph's University recruit reflected on his career for PennTrackXC
What was your most memorable race/competition?
The indoor states DMR my junior year (shoutout Mac, Paul, and Jack). I ran the mile earlier in the day and was very disappointed with my results. I know my boys would have been ready for anything, but I had promised to them that no matter what I would hand the baton off in first place, even though deep down I was slightly unsure of my abilities after a rough mile. However, my 1200 leg turned out to be one of my best races ever. During the race I just gained so much confidence and a kind of fire inside of me that I knew I was not going to lose. We won the DMR, which was our school's third DMR state title, and I just remember the extreme joy me and my teammates had, all the emotions rushing through us. Right when I saw Coach Bielecki after the race he and I gave each other a huge hug, and I was close to crying. I will forever remember the smiles on my teammates and coaches faces. We had lost states in XC that year so getting ourselves back on top as a team was an extremely emotional moment, one that I will never forget.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
Without a doubt junior year (2019) in the 1600 finals at outdoor states. This was the most loaded field I have ever been in and I have so much respect for the guys I competed against.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
Placing fourth in the 1600 finals at outdoor states my sophomore year. I was seeded 11th in the finals and was just looking to sneak onto the podium. However, during the race I made a gutsy move and literally went from last place to first place on the third lap and ended up hanging on for a fourth-place medal. This was a major milestone for me, and after seeing that I could compete against anyone in the state, I gained a ton of confidence. I feel that this accomplishment really catapulted my running to another level, and it was also the highest I have ever finished individually at a state meet.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
If I could do it all over again, I would not change a thing. Every painstaking loss, injury, and obstacle I have experienced has made me the strongest and smartest athlete I can be. I have so many amazing memories from high school running. But, on a side note, it would have been nice to win an individual mile state title.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
My entire sophomore year I had stomach issues which I did not get fixed until that summer. Junior year in XC I had low ferritin levels, which I thankfully got fixed before the championship part of the season. This year in the first week of January I pulled my groin during a workout and lost my entire senior indoor season. So, I would say injuries and staying healthy were the main obstacles I have had to overcome, and I have realized that healthy running is extremely underrated!
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my coaches and teammates/best friends more than they can imagine. Walking down to the La Salle track or Valley Green (usually a couple minutes late) ready to grind with my guys is a memory I will never forget. The La Salle brotherhood is different than any other.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
My advice to younger athletes is three-fold. First off, stay healthy! Do not push yourself to run through injuries, and make sure not to over work yourself, i.e. hammering your easy runs. Staying healthy is key to running well. Deal with injuries as soon as they happen, and make sure to get adequate recovery (eating well, sleeping well, and stretching) every single day. Recovery is just as important as working hard.
Second off, never underestimate the mental side of this sport. If you tell yourself someone is better than you, you have lost the race before it has even begun. Always be confident in your abilities, you can accomplish much more than you may think.
Lastly, never mock someone for having a lofty goal. Those who do, do so only because they fear someone else will attain the kind of success that scares them. Respect those who want to be great because those who chase success are giving their lives to this sport. I have been mocked for goals that seem insane to others time and time again, just to go out and accomplish exactly what I said I would. There is never a goal too big... if you want something, go get it, period.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
La Salle has the best coaches in the entire world. Each coach at La Salle has helped me grow in a specific way, but coach Bielecki has definitely had the biggest impact on my life. Coach Bielecki has taught me to be a better runner, a better man, and most definitely a better and stronger leader. He has been in the trenches with me every. single. day. and is a man I love giving 110% to. Coach Bielecki has built me up to be able to compete against anybody, and has taught me that even if the odds aren't in my favor, or things aren't going my way, I just have to buckle down and ask myself how badly I want it.
What are your post-high school plans?
I will be attending St. Joseph's University in the fall on the pre-med track and will be running cross country and track for Coach Glavin, with only the highest of aspirations.
There are a ton of people I want to thank.
To my mom: you have always been my number one supporter. Thank you for always believing in me even when I did not believe in myself, and for being the strongest person I know.
To my dad: thank you for always giving me the hard truth, and for supporting me at every one of my meets... hearing you and mom cheer always makes me run a little faster. I know that you are with me every step of the way through the highs and the lows.
To my siblings: thank you for being so understanding of this crazy sport and for just being yourselves.
To my extended family: thank you for going out of your way to support me.
To Coach Bielecki: you are someone who I love racing for and working my tail off for every single day, and someone who I trust and can go to about anything. Thank you for bringing out my talents and making me someone. I owe all my success to you.
To Coach Devlin, Coach Madera, Coach McGranaghan, Coach MacCrory, Coach Demeter, Coach Horvath, and Coach Gdovin: Each of you has impacted my life in a specific way, and I am beyond grateful. Many times, assistant coaches do not get the credit they deserve... each of you deserves so much credit in helping me become the man and runner I am today.
To Dr. Joe De Carlo: thank you for helping me get past injuries in as quick as a day's time and for being one of my biggest supporters. You have strengthened my relationship with God and taught me to always trust in God, and have helped to calm me before my biggest races.
To my CYO coaches: I know this might seem a little odd thanking my middle school coaches, but without you all I would have never known how much I love running. You all taught me huge lessons, both in running and in life, and have continued to be some of my biggest supporters in high school. To Coach Sauer especially, you taught me how to win, and how to be the fiercest competitor. You taught me that no matter what, I can beat anyone, anywhere.
To everyone who has ever supported me and to all those who I have competed against: thank you for pushing me to be better. I will always love high school running.
To MileSplit, especially Dan Beck: thank you for an amazing platform and the opportunity to be heard in this sport.
Lastly, to my teammates/brothers: thank you for the memories. You boys are the reason I work so hard every single day. You boys push me to be better and bring a sense of purpose into my life. Without you guys running would not be nearly as fun as it is, and all this would not be worth it. No one could possibly understand how crazy of guys we are, yet how dedicated we all are to something bigger than ourselves. I am so grateful to have gotten to win two state titles and multiple state medals with you boys. LSXCTF vs Everybody until I die.