When you are constantly running in the footsteps of a champion older brother who refuses to make way for you, sometimes it's hard to step back and see the size of the footprints you've been making. For Brendan Wortner, running in the shadow of your brother is not such a bad thing when that shadow is up among the top runners in the state. But since brothers are brothers and spikes are spikes, finding the best distance to stick behind while providing a little brotherly push has got to be a little taxing. And when you're the top freshman in the state from a little school, you know there are always lots of up-and-coming runners from the big schools who want to be on top.
So when Brendan (or Dan as he has been abbreviated to in the Journal News) jumped into his first real test of the season at the Warwick Wave on September 26th, it was important to set a high benchmark to carry through the season. Some of last year's freshmen runners on the JV squads of monster programs like Shenendehowa and North Rockland are graduating to the varsity squads and providing increasing class competition.
The great stretch kick at Warwick to grab 6th place earned Brendan his first Tully rating of 170 (a barrier Pat also first broke with a 175), a score that will likely place him among the top 10 sophomores in the state in the early results. It also puts him a little ahead of local Section 1 sophomores Charlie Carr of Brewster and Dayton Flannery of Bronxville.
As a four year veteran of the hills and trails, Brendan knows that the season is long and the finish is more important than the start. But he also knows that if you don't push yourself near to the front early on, you get left in the dust of the other runners. With a great trip on the first wave, B-Wort is making certain he will be ready to ride high on the big one at the end, whenever that is.