Athlete of the issue James Donahue ’22

James Donahue ’22, the captain of the varsity cross country, Nordic skiing, and track teams, started running cross country when he was 10 years old with the Reading middle school cross country team. Although James was only in 5th grade, he was able to join and was the best on the team. During this time, he also started doing the junior olympic USA Track & Field races. Upon entering Form I, he made the varsity team, but unfortunately broke his leg playing hockey that season and was out in mid-september.

After the injury in Form I, James suffered another injury in Form III requiring hip surgery. After a year of recovery, James returned eager to come back to his original form, but fell short remarking that he, “was not satisfied with my cross country season because I did not build enough fitness over the summer with training”. Then in the spring of his sophomore year COVID hit; however during this chaos, James was able “to put in some really consistent work … it all sort of came together last year, and the perfect year because junior year is the only year colleges look at for times”. James remarked on his favorite race in Oregon, running the mile and placing 4th with a 4:08 time which, “is one of my best performances so far”. James believes that Coach Trautz has “ definitely been a role model of mine since I entered in seventh grade” and he has “built a great relationship with him since I have been here both on the academic side and cross country”. James also recounts how “Coach D-Cap has been a huge help for me both in cross country, track, and nordic skiing… Coach Gorman is always there with advice and Coach Harder has been instrumental in the track side of things”. 

James wants to win the ISL which is their main goal this season as a team. He also wants to make it to the Footlocker cross country nationals in San Diego, but in order to go he must go to regionals at Van Cortlandt park in New York and place in the top 10. James currently is committed to run track at UVA, a top 15 program in the country. James wishes to compete in the Olympic games, “whether it’s in three years at the next cycle or in seven years, but it’s definitely going to take a lot day in and day out from here on out to achieve those goals in the 1500.” James’s message is, “not to focus on one thing for as long as you can because playing different sports is certainly important… in order to stay fresh mentally and physically to use as many muscles as you can in different sports… and have fun with as many sports as you can”. The Panel wishes James Donahue ‘22 and the rest of the Belmont Hill cross country team luck in the fall season. 

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