If everything goes as planned, Yale cross country could have a year to remember.
Before the starting gun to the high school season has even been shot, there’s one Bulldog who already has a good race under his belt.
Incoming senior Brendan Macias entered Saturday’s Orthopedic Associates Fun Run looking to protect his reigning 10K title, and he did just that with a time of 35 minutes, 59.1 seconds.
For his second consecutive Fun Run 10K title, Macias is the Times Herald Athlete of the Week.
“I ran the first 5K with (Yale junior Carlos Soto) because he was where I wanted to run, but a little faster,” Macias said. “I was surprised I could do (the last 5K).”
It looks like the top of the Bulldogs roster will be tough to top with Macias claiming the 10K title, Soto winning the 5K (17:54.2) and Andrew Vincent running a solid 10K in Alma on Saturday. With an influx of underclassmen coming in and needing to help in the fourth and fifth slots, head coach Greg Whitican is glad they’ll have a trio of good runners and captains to run with.
“A lot of the younger guys look up to those upperclassmen,” Whitican said.
Yale also has a mountain of goals to stare up at too. From the sounds of it the Bulldogs will take the season one step at a time, but the top of their wish lists has some big expectations.
“We sat down with the team and talked about that,” Whitican said. “Our first goal is to try to win the BWAC this year, our second goal is to qualify for the state finals and our third goal is to go there and compete, not just to be there and show up.”
They’re not the only ones foreseeing a banner season. Mile Split Michigan rounded up the times of every returning runner and has Yale pegged as the No. 18-ranked team in Division 2. If there’s one person running by the results without much care, it’s Macias.
“I was a little surprised by that, especially with all the people coming up,” Macias said. “I don’t take too much stock in the hypotheticals … it can all fall apart or go really well any given day.”
As an individual, Macias’s goals include breaking Yale’s record of 16:12 – 43 seconds better than his personal best – and to continue to be contacted by college coaches. Since he’s started training just two weeks after the track season ended in the spring, it’s looking like that record and scholarship opportunity could be getting closer this fall.
“I know he’s worked hard all summer and all the other guys have too,” Whitican said. “I think he’s really going to surprise himself.”
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter @Sheehan_Sports.