by Tyler Roaix
When the men’s track and field team hoisted the NEC championship just a few short weeks ago, it was not just the second title in the program’s history. It was also one of the biggest achievements the seniors of the team had. One of the seniors is Austin Trainor, one of the shining stars of the team the last four years.
The Port Jervis, New York native has seemingly always had running in his blood. He had a small group of friends in his hometown that he ran with since before middle school. They all had ambitions to run track at the collegiate level. So, one of his biggest motivators for going to college was that it was an opportunity to keep his running career going for at least four more years.
“My family motivated me on the school and education side of college and all of the benefits I would get once said and done,” Trainor said. “On the other side of things, my friends motivated me for the running portion of it knowing that we all still had so much more untapped potential and that college was the place to reach it.”
Trainor has made the most of his college experience, especially on the track. Trainor has consistently improved year in and year out, and it has shown this year as he has been the leader of the pack all season long. He capped off the indoor season this year as the New England champion in the 1,000-meter run, running a new personal-best time of 2:27.08. He also set personal records in the mile and 800-meter runs this season.
Trainor attributed his success over the last four years not to himself, but seemingly everyone around him, most notably his head coach, Eric Blake.
“Each year of the last four has been a surprise for me. I’ve run times that I never even thought about running and they have all gotten better each year,” Trainor said. “I know that these times did not come easy what so ever. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a coach [who] knows what potential looks like and then pushes you past that, and also training partners who are willing to do the work we are given and push me when I need it most. I would have never been able to do any of this by myself. The workouts, the long runs, the doubles and everything in between, and my teammates over the last few years are the only reason why I got where I am today.”
Trainor admitted that the adjustments he had to make being a student-athlete were challenging. It was a struggle for him to balance school work and practices, especially as a freshman. While it has been tough, however, he has been able to adjust to life in college and said that “the routine became so normal to [him] that it’s the only way [he] knows how to do college.”
Trainor said how gaining a sense of independence has been the biggest change in himself. The need to make his own schedule, while also having to follow other schedules like practices, has forced him to develop an ability to get everything done that he needs to do.
“This independence has helped me get through school work and studying and even for practice when I had to run alone if I couldn’t make the practice time due to other things on my schedule,” Trainor said.
With Trainor’s memorable career as a Blue Devil coming to an end in just two months, his presence on the track will be missed when the men aim to repeat as NEC champions next year. Still, as a senior, he has plenty of advice to offer freshman and other young student-athletes who are just beginning their college journeys.
“Just sticking with it and to not let yourself believe you aren’t as good as you are [is key],” Trainor said. “You are going to surprise yourself more times than you think and it’s all because you did the work and believed it was possible. If you give yourself no limit, you can run times that you only dream of and, in the end, it will be worth all of the work and pain because you carry those accomplishments with you for the rest of your life.”