CHARLESTON, S.C. – Nearly 4000 miles and the Atlantic Ocean did not stop Fearghal Curtin from becoming a Buccaneer and representing CSU in cross country. The strong-minded freshman, known as "the machine" on the team, started running when he was only 8 years old and has represented his home country of Ireland seven times, in both track & field and cross country.
"My parents coached me when I was young. It was good but having your coach around 24/7 is different," Curtin explained in a calm demeanor.
Curtin was only 16 years old when he represented Ireland for the first time at the Celtic Cross Country Championship in 2013 and has already gained remarkable experience in international racing.
"It was a good experience. I wanted to do it more often and became even more motivated to train," he said.
A higher level of competition and the opportunity to develop as a runner brought Curtin to CSU. Curtin is being coached by Jim Stintzi, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.
"Coach Stintzi is good at developing talent. He has coached at some big schools and has a plan to develop me," explained Curtin.
Stintzi has systematically divided the men into smaller groups, where the runners can work closely together and push each other over varying distances. Curtin likes the idea and the work ethic in the team.
"Being divided into small groups is good. It lets us know what kind of level we are at and makes us push each other and improve together," said Curtin. "It's a bit more training than what I'm used to, but it will help me prepare for long distance races," he adds when asked about his training schedule.
Curtin's favorite thing about running is the sense of achievement after hard workouts and challenging races. He likes competition and has been steadily improving endurance and strength wise.
"I like to run at the front but I'm probably stronger more than fast. My endurance is getting better here because we do more mileage and tempo runs," he said.
Curtin is determined and motivated to reach his full potential as a runner. His goal is to become a full-time professional after college and focus increasingly on longer distances.
"I want to qualify for the Olympic games. Probably in a longer distance like 10k," Curtin concluded.
Curtin, who looks forward to getting stronger throughout the season, will face the next challenge with his teammates at the Louisville Classic. This time the men's cross country team will take on a grueling 8k course with several top-teams at the starting line. The race shoots off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 30th.