By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(April 14, 2014) – Tuscarora High School senior John Dooney has committed to continue his running career under head coach Nick McDonough at New York University where he will run cross country and track beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.
“To be honest, it’s a sigh of relief,” said the 5-foot-8 Dooney. “I was really struggling between some top schools academically – but in the end, this is the best fit for my family and me.”
Dooney noted that the private, research institution provides an “unprecedented education” which is comparable to many top schools around the country. Yet, there was more to his final decision than the top-notch education.
“NYU offers a very talented and experienced coach in coach McDonough,” Dooney said. “Another desirable factor is the fact the university is right in the greatest city of the world – there’s always something to do.”
Born in Washington, D.C., Dooney is ready for his journey to the Big Apple where he will compete for the Division III Bobcats.
Competing in the University Athletic Association, the Bobcats’ cross country team placed first in four events and second in four events – including a second place finish at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship – during the 2013 season before finishing 20th at the NCAA Division III Championship.
On April 5, the NYU track and field team finished up their weekend at the Ramapo College Invitational in Mahwah, New Jersey where they placed second of 17 teams.
While Dooney will get the opportunity to run at a competitive DIII school at NYU, the Bobcats will get a top-of-the-line athlete in Dooney. The Husky senior holds Tuscarora records in the 1,600-meter (4:28.29), the 3,200-meter (9:35.80) and the 5,000-meter (16:10.00) – a run which was good enough for a 10th place finish at the VHSL AA cross country state championship meet on Nov. 11, 2012.
“I intend to be a contributor right away in scoring points in track as well as being in the top five for the boy’s team in cross country,” said Dooney who plans to run the 1,500-, 3,000-, 5,000-, and 10,000-meter events at NYU.
After competing on the varsity soccer team at Tuscarora his freshmen year, Dooney transitioned to track thanks to his mom
“My mom was the individual who got me started as a means to stay in shape for soccer. I picked it up as a side hobby as I was always quite quick on the pitch for soccer,” Dooney said. “At first, it was just a means for stress relief and keeping the mind sharp. Soon, I let my competitiveness take over which led me to do my very best and keep on improving.”
If Dooney’s mom is not the person pushing him at meets it is Tuscarora assistant coach Troy Harry who pushes Dooney. Harry ran track at La Salle University where he was inducted in the Hall of Athletes in 2007.
“He’s the real deal – and even though we may differ on some issues, he’s always been a solid role model as an individual, coach and runner in being able to keep up even at his current age,” Dooney said. “Seeing him have success with running at La Salle and him telling me I have the ability to run in college really helped me keep focus.”
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!