High School Runner of the Month: Andrew McGuan

Andrew McGuan - Dos Pueblos Cross Country

Andrew McGuan

It?s the goal of any California high school cross country runner: qualify for the CIF State Meet.

Andrew McGuan will be going there for the second straight year as a member of the Dos Pueblos boys cross country team. He is one of a core group of four seniors who have worked hard to get the Chargers back to the meet in Fresno.

?It?s just an incredible feeling,? McGuan said after finishing a 10-mile workout with his teammates. ?Last year, I don?t think I really had time to enjoy it just because last year expectations were so high. This year, we came in a lot more relaxed. Just making it to the state meet, now I realize it?s such an accomplishment. I?m real excited to see how we do.?

The Chargers finished second to Saugus in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Finals at Mt. San Antonio College. McGuan was the Chargers? third finisher (28th overall) behind fellow seniors Cole Smith (6th overall) and John Greening (25th). Junior twin brothers Ian and Christian Wasjutin (41st and 42nd) were next and senior Tyler Bradford rounded out the scoring (74th). The difference between Smith and Bradford was just 1:20.

?We?re really close, time-wise and personality-wise as well,? McGuan said of his teammates. ?We have this core group of seniors that have been running together since freshman and sophomore year, so we?ve really gotten to know each other really well. We?re really good friends that way. And, throw in the twins; they?re a grade younger than us, but we?ve been with them for three years, so it?s a really close-knit group. It makes cross country a lot more fun.?

SB Running CompanyThe High School Runner of the Month award recognizes local prep runners that exemplify the term ?Student-Athlete? by demonstrating leadership and excellence in high school athletics. ?Thanks to?Santa Barbara Running Company??for making this award possible and for supporting local athletes.

Find other Runners of the Month?HERE

The boys have a good time pushing each other.

McGuan?s best 3-mile cross country time this season is 14:51, which he ran at the Seaside Invitational in Ventura.

DP boys coach Micks Purnell recognized McGuan?s strong work ethic right away.

?Andrew sets the example of what work and mental discipline can accomplish,? he said. ?As a freshman, when he joined cross country at the start of school in the fall and first started running, he was middle to back of the pack in all races. Putting in the work over the summer before his sophomore year, his times dropped about six minutes and he was of one of DP?s better JV runners. Putting in another solid year of work during track season of his sophomore year and the summer before his junior year got him a solid position in the varsity seven as a junior and he went with the team to Southern Section Finals and the State Meet.

?This year, as a senior, Andrew has again improved his times on all courses and become very consistent in his race performance, solidly finishing second for DP almost every race,? Purnell continued. ?He is a major contributor to the team?s success.?

McGuan said he loves the purity of cross country running.

?It?s a real mix of everything from trails, hills, down hills, rocks,? he said. ?You really have to keep your wits about you for three miles because your mind can wander. You really have to have a strong mind and a strong body. It?s a different sport.?

Purnell has been impressed with McGuan?s mental toughness.

?Andrew may be proof that while natural running talent is important for distance runners, the really significant talents to achieve success in distance running are mental,? he said.

Andrew played a significant part of the Dos Pueblos boys defending their title as Santa Barbara County champions, repeating as Channel League champions with an unbeaten record, qualifying for the Southern Section finals and reaching the state championships.

Purnell said McGuan developed into a leader on the team.

?He always sets a good example in all areas of propriety and work ethic, and organizes and leads the team in many ways,? said the coach.

McGuan said he hopes to continue running in college. He is interested in the field of engineering and is looking at schools like Cal Poly, UCSB, UCLA and Cal-Berkeley.

Right now, his focus is on doing well at the State Meet in Fresno.