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Follow his lead

Timothy Kenefick is a junior finance major from Guilford, Connecticut. He is the captain of the men’s cross-country team and said that he loved the great team atmosphere from his first official visit his senior year of high school. 

“I like the small town feeling of Durham because it reminds me of home. I was really drawn by how everyone was so close together on the team,” Kenefick said.

Kenefick has been the ‘Cats’ lead man in almost every one of their races this year and it is clear he is goal-driven.  “I wanted to run [a time of] 25:30 in the 8-[kilometer race] and I actually did that in our past race in our conference championship and I also had the goal of becoming all-conference which I just made as well so I kind of checked off both personal goals which was awesome,” Kenefick said.  Kenefick placed 13th and was first for the ‘Cats in the conference championship meet earning second team all-conference honors.

With the team currently on the younger side, Kenefick understands the situation they are in as being labeled a young, upcoming team. After placing seventh at the America East conference championships in 2015, he knew they were capable of much more, with the goal of the team being to improve.

“[The goal was] to keep progressing because we are a very young team and we have a lot to look forward to, so keep moving up as a pack really. I couldn’t have been more proud of them [on Oct. 30],” Kenefick said. “We placed fourth and I think we turned a lot of heads being as young as we are so I think next year and the year after we’ll have a lot to look forward to.”

COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS Kenefick finished 13th in the America East Championships on Oct. 29.
Kenefick finished 13th in the America East Championships on Oct. 29.

One might wonder if captains of teams still get nervous before races.  Like Keiran, Kenefick uses his team to help guide him mentally through the race.

“Definitely nervousness [on the start line]. That’s to be expected though. I just try and compose myself. Last weekend when there was a huge meet, the conference championship, I just tried to tell myself this is just another race and I try not to get in my head,” Kenefick said. “I tell myself that I’m side by side with my teammates and when it comes down to it they’re going through the same thing as I am and I try and focus on my race strategy.”

The love for the sport of running comes out for Kenefick when he is able to get a solid grasp on what he has accomplished through hard numbers.

“It’s so much easier to track your improvement than in other sports.  If you take a minute off your cross-country time that shows what you’ve put in and you see it directly. I just love that and it’s kind of what’s pushing me,” Kenefick said.

At the end of the day, Kenefick is a focused individual who enjoys both the team and personal side of cross-country. Kenefick overall enjoys the ability to run and get away.

“[I like] the freedom of running really.  It acts as a big stress reliever in my life to be honest. Just to get out there and run and let it all out, lose yourself in your own mind, it’s just so different than any other sport really.” He said.

Kenefick will also compete at the regional meet coming up and is looking forward to his track seasons this winter and spring.  With another cross-country season almost over and all-conference honors under his belt, this captain will surely be ready for the next one.

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