This weekend, senior Cross Country runner Ryan McAnany raced as the lone representative of the University of Dallas and placed 37th at the NCAA Regional Meet that was hosted by Shenandoah University in Kernstown, Va.
“I ran on an old, historical Civil War battlefield, where Stonewall Jackson began his campaign to fight back against the North,” McAnany said. “It was definitely one of the hardest races I’ve ever done in my entire life, because it was the hilliest course I’ve ever run in my entire life and it was very windy. I think I ran my heart out and finished my career on a good note, so I’m happy about it. Tough course, though.”
Though McAnany struggled facing the hills of the course and did not quite accomplish everything for which he had hoped, he was still satisfied with his effort and the accompanying results.
“I think I did pretty well and I normally don’t say that,” McAnany said. “I’m usually pretty down on myself about races but I think I ended my career well.”
McAnany placed 37th, the same place he received last year at the regional race, but noted that he finished the race in a much better position, with athletes who had run much faster times throughout the year.
“I was finishing with guys that have run much faster times than me and, although I didn’t break the school record, which is what I wanted to do, I still gave it my all,” McAnany said.
McAnany has been leading the Men’s Cross Country team all season and has played a significant role for all four years he has been on the team; but before these years of gaining plaques for the Maher Center hallways, McAnany worked hard running at the high school level. He attributed his participation in the sport to his older brother, Ben McAnany, being a runner. McAnany was visibly happy that his older brother was even able to come to the race.
“[Ben] was in D.C. and came down for the race,” Ryan McAnany said. “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have done the sport. I wanted to play football my freshman year of high school, when I was 4-foot-10 and 95 pounds.”
Head Coach Matthew Barber travelled with McAnany to the race to encourage and coach him on the day of regionals. McAnany expressed appreciation for his coach’s work throughout the season.
“It was nice to have Coach come along,” McAnany said. “I can’t thank him enough for all the support he has given the whole team and myself for this entire year.”
Barber was pleased with his athlete’s last race, and thought he ended the season and his career on a high note.
“Did we achieve every goal we were aiming for,” Barber asked. “No. But he gave everything he had on Saturday. He ran a good, smart race and put himself in a position to make the All-Region Team.”
As McAnany’s cross country career comes to an end and his final season of track begins next spring, the Cross Country team will look to the younger classes to continue a legacy of excellent performances. As for McAnany, the Athletic Department will look to him next spring to keep racing past previous school records.