By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
(December 13, 2013) – Dominion High School senior Trent Lancaster has committed to run both cross country and track for George Mason University starting in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“I wanted a place relatively close to home, great education, post-college opportunities, and a solid cross country and distance track program. All of this was reassured when I went for my visit,” said the 5-foot-7 Lancaster. “The guys on the team were great to get along with and I feel like we all personally connected.”
In early, October the Division I Patriots hosted and won the Mason Invitational at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg. George Mason went on to finish third in the Atlantic-10 Championships on Nov. 2.
Lancaster said head coach Andrew Gerard is another major reason he decided to run for the Patriot cross country team. Gerard coached Olympian and American half marathon record holder Ryan Hall while at Stanford University. Hall finished 10th in the marathon at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.
“[Gerard’s] training program is different than other schools, and he coached one of his past teams to an NCAA Cross Country National Championship,” Lancaster said. “It’s obvious that he knows what he’s doing and I’m excited to work with him. I’ve only ran cross country for two years and distance track for one year. Once I start working with a highly acclaimed coach and veteran runners, I’m anxious to see what I’ll be able to achieve.”
For one more season, this coming spring, Lancaster will get the opportunity to work with Titans’ head coach Brian Schmidt. Lancaster thanks Schmidt for encouraging him to tryout, but says running has always been in his blood.
“My parents we’re also runners in their lifetimes, doing anything from the 5K and even up to the marathon,” Lancaster said. “The thing that I really like the most about running more than any other sport is the whole individual and competitive aspect and its difficulty. Running is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
“You really get what you put out in this sport and it’s a whole different experience than anything else. There’s nothing better than setting a new personal record or winning a race because that means you’ve received a reward for all the hard work you’ve put in,” said the Arizona native.
Lancaster’s 2013 track and cross country seasons were one for the record books. In the spring he finished 8th at 1600 meters in the VHSL AA state track and field meet. In this fall’s cross country season, Lancaster saw multiple gold medals winning both the Conference 21 and 4A North Region titles. The long-distance runner finished 10th in the VHSL 4A state cross country championships on Nov. 15.
“I honestly feel shocked and astonished by [my commitment],” Lancaster said. “Going into my junior year of high school, I would’ve never thought that I’d be in this position. It’s just amazing to see how things change over a short period of time.”
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. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete.