Cross-Country

Colin Bennie progresses for SU after winning 1st collegiate race

Colin Bennie’s entire college career has followed the mantra of start humble and build from there.

After his redshirt freshman year, Bennie is in his second year of competition for the Orange. He won his first collegiate race at Penn State’s Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 11, and has gradually progressed since first arriving on campus.

Bennie was the 2012 Massachusetts outdoor state champion in the 3200m, and had a decorated high school career. Moving from high school to college is a challenging adjustment, even for elite runners.

“It’s definitely a big jump from high school to college running,” Bennie said, “Most high school races are 5k, and in college they are 8k or 10k.”

The jump is one of the reasons SU head coach Chris Fox redshirted Bennie and a majority of the freshmen. According to Fox, most freshmen just aren’t good enough to contribute at the collegiate level.

“No matter how good (the freshmen) were in high school, they can’t make the top seven,” Fox said.

SU takes its top seven to regionals and nationals.

Fox made the decision to redshirt him, and Bennie agrees that it was the right choice. He said that having a year off of competition helped him get stronger and more competitive, assets he wouldn’t have picked up anywhere else.

To build strength, Fox puts his runners through long tempos – hard workouts between six and eight miles. His ultimate goal is to make the team, especially the freshmen, more ready to compete.

“(The freshmen) are just too young to be really effective,” Fox said. “Like an offensive lineman in football, you want them to get bigger and stronger.”

As Bennie trained his body up to the collegiate level, he knew he had to make a few lifestyle adjustments as well. He made sure he was getting to bed on time and eating the right foods, and his training started to pick up as well.

He dropped almost a minute on his time from the 2014 Spiked Shoe Invitational, and is consistently running faster than his times from last season. Bennie is currently SU’s No. 4 or 5 runner, and Fox has seen the improvement first hand.

“He went from not being very good as a freshman his first semester, to being OK in outdoor track,” Fox said, “He was pretty decent last year in cross country.”

Bennie is starting to come into his own, and coming off of this win at the Spiked Shoe Invitational, could make a bigger statement as the season progresses.

“He’s a pretty serious guy, a pretty serious athlete, a pretty serious student, and he does things very professionally,” Fox said. “I want to see him be in the top five or six at the ACC championships, and I’d love to see him make All-American at nationals.”

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