In it to win it

Cross country runner becomes first-time state champion

Sophia Comas, Online Editor-in-Chief

33 seconds. 

Buzzfeed broke 15 laws in 33 seconds. Tracy McGrady scored 13 points in what’s considered one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history in 33 seconds. 

To anyone unassociated with those things, 33 seconds is an insignificant amount of time that usually goes by unnoticed. For junior Daniel Harkin, he’s a part of that list of uniquely accomplished tasks. With a lead of 33 seconds, Harkin won the boys State championship race.

“I was too tired to think,” Harkin said. “I was very tired and also happy to see all my hard work pay off.”

The race, which took place on Nov. 2, featured some of Harkin’s fiercest competition. In the previous season, he placed second, but this year he decided to handle things differently.

“State was very exciting because it was something I was thinking about winning for a long time,” Harkin said. “I was 30 seconds faster and I won, so this year was so much better. [I hyped myself up with] caffeine and telling myself this was really important.”

After Harkin finished interviewing with reporters at the race, he waited for the rest of his teammates to join him at the finish line. Once all were there, he was honored with the Bob Timmons award, which was given to the meet’s fastest runner, regardless of class. He considered it to be one of the most remarkable times of the entire season.

“[My favorite moment was] being on the podium,” Harkin said. “I was just happy. I wouldn’t change anything.”

Harkin’s win contributed to the team’s overall score of fourth place. While he was pleased for himself and his impressive track record, he was also disheartened that the team didn’t place within the top three. However, he’s happy that the season has ended, giving him time to take a much-needed break.

“It was disappointing we couldn’t win as a team but that was something outside of my control,” Harkin said, “but there’s no more pressure anymore since I’ve already won the state title.”

Harkin, an athlete in cross country in the fall and both tranck and tennis in the spring, has been running since he was little. Although there was no order or organization to how he ran, his energetic nature led him to the world of sports. 

“[I] never really thought about it,” Harkin said. “[I] just ran a lot when I was little. I thought [cross country] would be fun.”

Despite the fact that for some it didn’t go to plan, Harkin is still proud of both himself and his teammates. In advice to his past self, he said to keep looking forward, something he plans to continue in his future athletic aspirations. 

“I would tell him to work hard and keep a positive attitude and never give up,” Harkin said. [I’ll do that in the future] by reminding myself of my goals.”

Along with his own personal affirmations, Harkin values everything both his teammates and his coaches have done to help him grow as a runner. Their motivation helped make him into the runner to beat, eventually taking him to the state championship. 

“They help create a positive environment and help push me,” Harkin said. “It helped me win state.”