After first win, dream school proves right fit for Wishart
When freshman Dave Wishart came to Syracuse for a spring recruiting visit, he fell in love with the campus. He knew it was the place for him. Wishart was so enamored that he just had to call his father right there on the Quad.
‘Hello, dad,’ he said. ‘Write the check. I am going here.’
Wishart has been on campus for a little over a month and has already found his place on the Syracuse cross country team. Not only is he one of the team’s top five runners, but last Saturday at the Orange Classic he recorded his first collegiate victory en route to SU’s second victory of the season.
‘I would have had never believed this,’ Wishart said. ‘In high school I was at the front of the pack in a lot of races, but I only won once. So to be told that I would win my second college race, I would have thought it was far-fetched.’
But believe it. It happened.
‘He has had two good races,’ head coach Jay Hartshorn said. ‘He has been training on a high level.’
Wishart has fit right in with the rest of the team at practice. He works out regularly with the top runners on the team. His work ethic benefits his teammates, as well as himself.
‘He is a front-runner in workouts,’ sophomore Chris Muldoon said. ‘He pushes the pace and he pulls me along. He has given (Brian McNeil) and I a third training partner.’
Wishart provides depth to the Orangemen, since their top two runners, senior John Bitok and sophomore Tim Scarpinato, only run in half of the races to save their energy. Since the team returned all seven of last year’s top runners, it allows Wishart to fill in for Bitok and Scarpinato.
It usually takes freshmen time to get comfortable when they compete, but Wishart has performed beyond his class standing.
‘He runs very aggressive,’ Muldoon said. ‘He takes it out hard and that takes guts.’
Hartshorn also believes Wishart is very dedicated to the sport, and that he already knows running is a part of his life.
Wishart’s dedication to the sport began in the summer before his senior year of high school. He took his training so seriously that he didn’t go with his family to their summer home – an annual ritual for the Wisharts. Instead, he stayed home in Winnetka, Ill., and trained all summer with his teammates. He also attended two college running camps.
Six-hundred miles of training later, Wishart went into his senior year prepared to be a competitive runner. That season, he placed 20th at the Illinois state championships.
Wishart wasn’t always a runner – he swam and played ice hockey in middle school. It wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that he stopped swimming and skating and took cross country seriously.
The biggest reason for his decision was his high school cross country coach, Donald Chase.
‘He was always positive and constantly encouraging,’ Wishart said. ‘He would care about your goals, how school was going and life.’
Wishart’s eagerly looking forward to Big East Championships because he feels that the conference offers the best competition in the country.
‘He can get in the top 45 at Big East,’ Hartshorn said. ‘That would be a good performance for him. (Scarpinato) got 35 last year, so if he could be right around where (Scarpinato) was then that would be pretty good.’
Wishart’s season will not end there, though.
Growing up in Toronto for the first eight years of his life, the Canadian citizen will also compete in the Junior Canadian Championships at the end of November with a chance to qualify for the World Championships.
‘We still have a long time to go with his season,’ Hartshorn said. ‘He still has two whole months left.’
PHILADELPHIA — For one moment, the ball lay on the Lincoln Financial Field grass, up for grabs. It seemed improbable in the first half, but… Read more »
PHILADELPHIA — They’ve grown accustomed to their roles: Denver’s Ryan LaPlante starts in net and plays the first half. Jamie Faus comes in at the… Read more »
Syracuse defense silences Denver in clutch, sends Orange to first national championship game since 2009
PHILADELPHIA – With three seconds left, Eric Law flung a pass from behind the cage toward Eric Adamson. It floated in front of Adamson's stick,… Read more »