by Amanda Dronzek
Late this October, senior Jacob Connolly committed to Boston University to run long distance track. Connolly has been a vital part of the East Greenwich High School cross country and track organization. Weeks ago, the 2021 XC season came to a close, one that Connolly calls “a very fun season.” Connolly credits his success to his current and former teammates, who led him down the path of success in the same way that he has guided the underclassmen as a cross country captain. “I love being the captain,” Connolly beams. “This stems a lot from my personal story and the fact that I started off as a sub-par runner.” The positive impact from his teammates and coaches have influenced Connolly to continue his athletic career in college. When scouting out schools, Connolly found Boston University to be a perfect balance between academics and athletics. Most importantly, he was fond of the city, describing Boston as “stunning.” Connolly looks to major in biochemistry or molecular biology, in hopes of becoming an oncologist in the future.
“Boston is one of the medical hubs of the world and the integration between BU’s programs and the surrounding hospitals is absolutely incredible. On top of that the XC and Track team was most definitely my favorite team I got to meet with.” Other schools provided academic and athletic opportunities, but the tight knit aspect of BU’s running program appealed to Connolly the most. “The chemistry between the runners, coaches, and recruits was electric.” In his junior year, Connolly had “massive, exponential improvement during the outdoor season,” which kickstarted the recruitment process. Connolly admits he was “late to the recruiting game,” but once he began touring schools, the process eased up considerably. Connolly advises all students to make the first move when applying to schools, especially for athletics. “The worst they can do is say no…and if they say “you’re in” it might change your life.”
Compared to other colleges, BU offers an incredible track and field program. Jordan Carpenter, the new distance coach, is planning to compete for the national championship in late November. Boston University is famous for hosting indoor meets throughout the season. Their track, “The Launchpad,” is well known for its bank (elevation), and has been used for the NCAA indoor nationals in the past. BU’s running program is active year-round, and Connolly prides his future team’s motivation and rigorous training. “They put in dozens of hours every week to make sure they can perform at their best and, most importantly, make sure that they can help the overall team score.”
Following his final cross country season for East Greenwich, Connolly is taking some, “well deserved time to rest.” Since mid July, Connolly has been training non-stop for the upcoming indoor season. “I’ve already started planning out my elite invitationals for this season. The big ones I’m working towards are the indoor and outdoor national championships, indoor takes place in New York and outdoor takes place in Oregon.” Oregon’s track, Hayward field, is one of the most well known tracks in the country. Connolly has also been invited to the Millrose Games in New York. This race, designed for professional runners, invites high schoolers nationwide to compete in showcase events. Connolly is competing in the mile.
At EGHS, Connolly has participated in the 3000 and 1500 meter events. “In the spring I set the southern division meet record in a time of 8:46, breaking the old record by ten seconds.” Earlier this season, he also broke the, “any-course school 5k record in a time of 15:28.” Smashing the competition throughout his high school career, Connolly is looking to continue his success for Boston in the fall of 2022.