By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(April 1, 2014) – Briar Woods High School senior Ryan Hughes has committed to run cross country and track at the University of Pittsburgh beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“Being committed to a college is very exciting and relieving because I don’t have to deal with all the stress of waiting to hear for acceptances,” Hughes said. “However, I know that I cannot slack off in school or on the track either.”
In the fall, Hughes noted he will make the trek to western Pennsylvania to not only run, but also to get a secondary education.
“[Pittsburgh] has a phenomenal bioengineering program and are located right outside the city, but still have a very urban campus feel,” Hughes said
Born in Buffalo, New York, to parents Karen and Bill, Hughes got his inspiration to run from his dad.
“My dad ran cross country in high school, and after I tried it out I loved it and knew it was the sport for me,” Hughes said.
Hughes has proven himself on the cross country circuit after running the second fastest time out of an Loudoun runner at the VHSL 5A Cross Country meet on Nov. 15 – good for an 11th place finish – coming in just three seconds behind Stone Bridge Bulldog Brady Guertin.
Last fall, Hughes set the Briar Woods High School record in the 5,000-meter run posting a time of 15:59.50 on Oct. 19 at the Third Battle Invitational in Winchester.
The 6-foot-3 Hughes also holds the Falcon’s 1,600-meter record (4:24.88) which he set at 2013 VHSL AA Track and Field championship meet on May 31 after finishing in seventh place.
At Pittsburgh, Hughes hopes to run the mile and 5,000-meter events while helping the Division I Panthers reach the top five in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Hughes will take a little bit of Loudoun County with him in the form of his running role model and former Briar Woods’ track and cross country head coach Eric Callendar.
“Callender showed me how to have fun with running, taught me everything I know and really helped me learn to love it.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!