USF Athletics has many good athletes showing impressive skills at their sport. In addition to that, some of them stand out with very unique stories and an outstanding academic level. Joshua Horeled, a senior majoring in politics and minoring in legal studies and public service within the Teo T. McCarthy Center, is one of them. Originally from Crystal Lake, Illinois, Horeled specializes in the 10,000 meters in both cross country and track.
“I wouldn’t say it is the most fun event to participate in or for that matter to watch, but I enjoy it and the sense of accomplishment of finishing such a long race is a reward in itself,” he said.
Horeled started running in middle school because he wanted to follow his big brother’s steps that led to being a state champion. He said that he did not really enjoy running at first, but that it helped him through a personal loss when he was in high school.
“After that I took running more seriously and eventually decided to be a walk-on at USF,” he said.
Horeled started as a walk-on but is now on scholarship thanks to consistent hard work, and while he used to barely make the team at the beginning, he’s now one of the squad leaders for both the Cross Country and Track team.
Even though there are several competitions during the season, there is no point system – unless other sports – and the two important races remain the fegionals and the West Coast Conference whose finishes are decided by how well the teams compete.
“Every race until Conference is an opportunity to improve as an athlete before that big race; optimistically that involves the team performing well in the next few races, but the coaches may decide to train through a few races in hopes of winning some hardware in October,” Horeled said.
The runner is confident about this season, feeling the men’s team will perform above expectations thanks to their six top runners returning. Horeled also said that the talent of incoming freshmen will help out their roster. According to him, the women’s team will also be ready to lead this season.
“They [the women’s team] are also set up nicely to defend their Conference title with their entire varsity team returning; both Hillary Kigar and Eva Krchova are coming off great track seasons and it should be exciting to see how far the girls go this season as a team,” he said.
Among the potential teams that could prevent the men’s team from winning the WCC, Portland is on top of the list. Indeed, the Pilots won the last 31 WCC and usually ends up ranked nationally – which make them the favorites of the Conference. However, Horeled warned that the USF racers should watch out for other teams.
“LMU and Santa Clara usually field competitive teams and both teams are considered rivals in cross country,” he said.
Horeled remains optimistic and recalls the biggest strength of both the men and women’s teams that is the overall positive work ethic.
He said that every person on the team is willing and dedicated to winning and that “such a mindset is important for a team to be successful.”
Thinking about the future, Horeled is balancing the idea of either going to graduate or law school, or finding a job after graduation. Running in competition should not be up to date anymore after graduation.
“But I do not want to stop running entirely; after doing for so many years it would be difficult to walk away from the sport entirely. I may volunteer as a coach or compete for fun just to keep in contact with the sport,” he said.
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