The Century marching band's loss was the cross country team's gain this fall when senior Matt Kane decided to fully commit to running.
After a successful junior year in indoor and outdor track, Kane knew he wanted to run in college and felt joining the cross country team would be beneficial. He enjoyed immediate success.
On Sept. 13, Kane won Dulaney's Barnhart Invitational and enjoyed a fine regular season. He then won the Piedmont race at the Monocacy Valley Athletic League championship and finished a close second behind Liberty's Chad Sussman in last week's Carroll County championship.
On Thursday, Kane will run in the regional meet to qualify for the state championship meet on Nov. 8 at Hereford. Kane, who plays the saxophone, plans to attend UMBC and major in biology.
What made you decide to go out for the cross country team this fall?
When I finished the outdoor track season in my junior year, I felt like it was successful and I decided that I really wanted to pursue running in my senior year. And I also started considering that running is something I wanted to do in college. So I felt if I wanted to run in college I had to have the base of endurance that cross country can give me.
Have you been surprised with the success you've enjoyed?
I was very surprised. I honestly didn't know what to expect going into cross country season, since I had never run a 5K before. So the Barnhart race was really like a revelation for me. I've been trying to push harder ever since.
What's the biggest adjustment to running cross country compared to track?
In cross country, I would say it's less time focused and more focused on where you place. Also, the meets are run very differently. The start is very different — it's one massive group instead of like 20 or so people. So that took some getting used to. It also took some getting used to running on a course instead of a flat track — that was very different.
It feels great to have that time in my day when I can get out and just run for two hours and basically work out all the stresses that may build up during the school day. It's been a great release and it's relaxing to come here after school every day, be with this group of people and work hard.
How has the discipline required in running helped in other aspects of life?
At the end of junior year I decided I was going to seriously commit myself to track and it took some discipline over the summer to get up early and get my run in every day. I think it's helped me in my school work. The mental release has helped me focus better on my academics and work on time management. It's generally been very beneficial for my academic career.
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During the summer when I didn't feel like working out I always remembered what I was trying to do. I always had a clear goal in mind of trying to get as far as I can in these three seasons of running and the only way I could that is by working hard now. That's what helped get me up every morning.
What did you take away from the second-place finish at the county meet last week?
My biggest mistake was going out too hard. I kept trying to battle for the lead instead of just trying to take it easy and basically remain in a good position and then take it hard the last mile. Instead, I tried to take the first two miles hard thinking I could jump ahead. It didn't work out that way.