Running with Ciaran Bowler

Jake McChesney, Staff Writer

I can still remember my first day of running with Ciaran Bowler, as if it was yesterday. I showed up to XC try-outs in the pouring rain, and after we had finished stretching, the new runners that had tried out the day prior were put into groups. Tom Lamonte, Ciaran, and I were grouped together. Little did I know, I was grouped with people who knew the area just as well as I did: not at all. We set out with the goal of running a 1-mile loop, however, after we had run past our turn, we started to ask ourselves where the loop actually started.  So, after a few wrong turns and navigational disputes, we eventually made it back to Oratory. After that day, our pre-season officially started and Ciaran and I were placed in a new group together.

We were the only freshman in our group, so, naturally, we became friends and competitors. After our first few races, we had become the only freshman to run varsity time for the rest of that season. But it wasn’t until sophomore year that I learned how hard Ciaran really worked. While I was out surfing the West Coast, Ciaran had been putting in the mileage all summer. To put it lightly, he absolutely smoked me on the first day back, and by the end of the season, he had beat his freshman PR in the 5k by 1 minute and 21 seconds. Our Junior year season sadly came to an abrupt halt on account of the pandemic. Ciaran nor I, would even come close to touching our PR’s that we had set the year before. However, when our Senior year had rolled around, both Ciaran and I had put in the mileage and were ready to offset the results of our Junior year. In the first race, Ciaran set a new PR of 17:13 and by the end of our season, Ciaran had pulled out a 16:28 at Oak Ridge Park.    

In my eyes, Ciaran Bowler is the epitome of hard work, dedication, and leadership, and to say the least, my Oratory experience would not have been the same without him. Next year, he will be attending West Point and despite his stupendous skills in football and ultimate frisbee, he will be running. So, on behalf of the XC and Track teams, we wish you the best of luck!