In Tim Olmsted’s first ever cross country race of his life, he made the mistake that most new runners make. Tim sprinted the beginning of the race he shot out in front of the race and was going strong for a time till the mistake set in and he started to fall of pace, and he fell hard. Or in the words of Nick LeClair, “His first meet when he went out like a, he had never done cross, and he went out with the Kenyan from Utica Proctor and thought oh yea I can hang on. He shot out in front and he couldn’t hang on. And he died super hard, but I think that is a perfect way for Tim to start his running career.”
Tim Olmsted is a senior at SUNY Oswego and runs on the cross country team in the fall semester and runs on the track and field team in the spring semester. He made the regional team for cross country his freshman year. Tim also qualified and attended the conference championship meet for track and field for the indoor and outdoor seasons. Tim was a captain his sophomore year for cross country and due to a coaching change he was no longer an official captain, but became a leader on the team. Tim did not start running until his junior year of high school when he did track and field and crazily didn’t run cross country till the track coach at Oswego asked him to try it.
Nick LeClair is also a senior at SUNY Oswego. Nick runs with Tim and is his best friend and housemate. When I asked Nick what makes Tim so likeable he described him as someone who was very real, and not fake for lake of a better term. Tim’s cross country and track coach, Evan Magnussen also mentioned something very similar saying, “He’s the person that I know, or one of the people I know that if he says “oh I’m gonna run tomorrow at whatever time and get a couple miles in” he’s gonna do it. Or if I ask him to go take an ice bath he’s gonna take and ice bath. Whatever the case may be he’s gonna do that. He is someone I can trust…to step up when it’s needed. And really just basically if I’m not there he can take charge and I know that.”
One of the many things that stuck out to me was that Tim is a natural born leader and it was evident in the way Nick and Coach Magnussen talked about Tim. Even some of the things Tim said led me to believe that he truly was the leader of the cross country team. “Coming into college every single year for the most part seniors are captains so just there being people to look up to and they tend to be the harder working people on the team as well, so basing what I do off of them is definitely something I tried to do and continue to do…. . I was kinda surprised to be a sophomore as a captain, but that just made work even harder to set an example for everyone else, even the people who were older than me that weren’t captains.”
When I asked him about some of the challenges he talked about learning the time commitment each day and how to deal with that. And surprisingly the cross country team practices last about three hours every day. With races on Saturday that he said take up most of the day and then on Sunday’s they have long runs. Their weeks schedule seems pretty packed with adding classes on top of that. He also mentioned the mileage jump that he had to endure that came with the college training. Tim said the most miles he would run in a week in the previous years was 65 miles a week and this summer he was running about 75-80. This cause his largest hurdle to date. The training over the summer was slowly breaking his body down without him realizing and weeks before the season started he found out that his muscles were being worked so hard that they were begin broken down and not rebuilt. Yet he came back to finish out his senior season well and proud of it learning to never again go out like a bullet to start a race.