The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 52
Published 5/22/13 | Log In
Senior sets new SPU mark in two distance events
By JACKSON FELTS, Staff Reporter
Published: February 6, 2013
In Tucson, Ariz., temperatures can hit at high as 100 degrees for much of the year. For Seattle Pacific senior runner Will Harrison, growing up in the suburb of Phoenix meant avoiding the heat whenever possible.
Harrison, who began running track in sixth grade, uses the early mornings to train when he visits home each summer.
“I’ve definitely done lots of running well over 100 degrees … It makes me appreciate the Seattle weather,” Harrison said.
So far, this indoor track season has featured Harrison setting personal and school records in each meet.
At the UW Indoor Preview on Jan. 12, Harrison took down his personal best in the 3000-meter run by nearly 20 seconds. In addition, he beat Nathanael Castle’s 10-year-old school record by more than five seconds.
On Jan. 25 at the UW Invitational, he shattered two records during the 5000-meter run. Harrison beat his personal best by almost 12 seconds, as well as the school record set last year by over 10 seconds.
Harrison’s career has seen multiple foot injuries, including sesamoiditis in his sophomore year, which kept him from competing during the indoor track season.
Harrison then stormed back in his junior year, setting personal records in the 3000, 5000 and mile run. Now in his senior year, Harrison continues to set records again and again.
“He’s looking great running,” said senior Seth Pierson, a teammate of Harrison’s in both track and cross country. “He’s so dedicated and seeing it pay off.”
Senior AJ Baker, a roommate of Harrison, is also his teammate on both the track and cross country teams. At the UW Invitational, Baker said that his personal record-setting performance in the 3000 was inspired by Harrison’s run in the 5000.
For Harrison, gaining and giving confidence to others is part of his nature on track teams.
“With AJ, or with any of my teammates over the years, when I see one of them do well, that gives me confidence,” Harrison said.
Despite not having qualified for nationals yet in the 3000 or 5000, Harrison plans to compete in both events at the GNAC Championships in Nampa, Idaho on Feb. 15 and 16. His 5000 time of 15:00.96 automatically qualifies him to run at the conference meet.
The 3000 is being featured as an NCAA Championship event for the first time this year. Due to this change, there are no GNAC automatic or provisional qualifying times for the event. The conference will instead take the top 16 time placers this season into the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships.
Harrison believes that with his 8:36.81 time in the 3000, he is “safely qualified” to run at the conference meet in Idaho.
SPU track and field head coach Karl Lerum said that he hasn’t seen anything different from Harrison in practice this year.
Conversely, Harrison attributes his success to a new training regimen.
“I’ve been training a little bit less … The last couple years I’ve been alternating between overtraining and getting injured, so running a bit less helped me to train consistently and have good results,” Harrison said.
With the GNAC Championships quickly approaching, Harrison and the rest of the SPU track and field team will have one more meet to set their marks. The three-day Husky Classic and UW Indoor Open takes place from Feb. 8-10 at the Dempsey Indoor Center on the UW campus.
Harrison plans to run the 3000 at the meet to continue his schedule of alternating between that and the 5000. According to Harrison, switching between distances at meets keeps him “a little more fresh for each.”
As the educational science major moves through his senior season of indoor track, he looks to keep setting personal records.
“Running is kind of addictive,” Harrison said. “When you’re competing in track, you start to love competing, training and getting the most from yourself. And watching your times improve is very satisfying.”