Wilbur and FitzPatrick, leaders of the x-country pack

by Holly Thomas | 11/4/94 6:00am

Many seniors this time of year are wondering what they are going to do in the next year, but two seniors, Ted FitzPatrick and Sam Wilbur, already know. These two nationally ranked runners dream of running in the Olympic trials and, judging from the success they have shared this season, they have the ability to do it.

Last weekend at the Heptagonals in New York City, Wilbur came in first place at the meet with a time of 24.46 and FitzPatrick came in second with 24.54. Together, they led the entire team to a first place victory.

FitzPatrick began his running career in middle school, following in his brother's footsteps. Fellow teammate Wilbur began running his sophomore year in high school.

"To be successful in cross country is a year round endeavor and they both worked extremely hard in the off season to come in shape," Coach Barry Harwick said.

While most of us are relaxing on the beach during the summer months, FitzPatrick and Wilbur are training, by running mile after mile in preparation for the fall cross country season every year. Of course, they both have incredible physical ability, which makes it easier for them to run with such great endurance, but they also push themselves to the limit.

"They both work hard and are very competitive," said Harwick.

When asked who his role model is, Wilbur mentioned a runner who holds some of the qualities that Wilbur hopes to have himself, as he continues in his cross country career.

"Bob Kempainen, the world's fastest marathoner, is someone I look up to. He shows what one can do with confidence, patience, and a lot of hard work," Wilbur said.

Wilbur and FitzPatrick have certainly followed in Kempainen's footsteps so far. With their hard work and high level of determination, they have managed to improve their speed year after year.

The seniors, however, are not just great runners, but great leaders as well, working as co-captains for the men's team.

"They are great leaders by example. Everybody sees them running in the morning, lifting the weights, and feel the intensity they bring to each session," said Harwick.

The captains also help out the younger members of the team by giving them encouragement and advice on how to improve themselves athletically.

"I hope I can convince the '97s and '96s that they have what it takes to continue Dartmouth's winning ways," Wilbur said.

FitzPatrick and Wilbur refuse to take all the credit for their success on the running circuit, however. They believe that their co-runners have been a great inspiration to their overall success and have contributed to their recent wins.

"Running every day with such talented athletes has pushed me to whatever success I have had," Wilbur said.

Whatever the reason for their success, these two have made a lasting impression on the cross country record of the Big Green.

After graduation in the spring, FitzPatrick is interested in going to graduate school to learn sports administration during the time he's training for the Olympic qualifying trials.

Wilbur, on the other hand, is more focused on his present challenges as a runner, but after leaving Dartmouth, he hopes to find the perfect atmosphere in which to train.

"Every coach wants a talented athlete, but what makes them even better is the desire and competitive side they bring along with their talent," said Harwick.

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