Eastside Boys Cross Country Cap Off Disappointing Season At States

At Saturday’s star-studded state cross country meet, it was more of the same from our boys cross country team: sickness, misfortune, and (for the most part) underwhelming times. Out of the 32 best teams in the state from class 2A, Eastside placed 26th, with an average 5k time of 18:25. The fastest time of our school came from junior Declan O’Dwyer, who came in 67th place individually, clocking in at 17:26. His PR on the season is 16:29. Due to a thumb injury he sustained this week, O’Dwyer was put in a cast, which surely impacted his performance Saturday. After the race, he had this to say about the race and season as a whole:

“Disappointing end to a bad season. Did my best running in this big a** cast, but I just have to take what I got. I struggled with sickness and bad races this season, leaving me hungry for track, and next year where I’ll prove myself. Maybe one postseason race then getting back to work for track.”

This track season will undoubtedly be a special one for O’Dwyer, where he looks to break two minutes in the 800 and drop time from his 4:38 mile personal best from last season. 


The next fastest times in Eastside’s top five came from junior Gus McDaniel, sophomore Ethan Walsh, and seniors Carlos Alvarez and Amir Etemadi, all finishing in the middle and low 18s. Alvarez missed two days of school prior to the race due to sickness, and it seems like he and Etemadi were never able to fully recover from the devastating wave of sickness the team experienced earlier in the season. 


Talking to Walsh after the race, there was one interesting event that occurred which helped him during the season: getting grounded. After his parents found him boxing one his friends from Buchholz at Oakmont in front of a pretty large crowd, he found himself without a phone or the ability to hang out with his friends outside of school and practice– “I locked in and went to practice every day,” he said. Hopefully this discipline carries over into track, where he looks to improve on his times in the mile and two mile races. 


Regardless of their performance this fall, the team seems undeterred heading into track season this year. Keep an eye out for a 4×800 team that includes two runners that are likely to break two minutes this season in Jackson Petty and Declan O’Dwyer. Ethan, Gus, and Amir are all also undoubtedly going to cut down on their times in their respective races. Carlos Alvarez has secured a spot on the boys’ varsity soccer team for his winter sport, but plans on competing in the 400 and 800 once the season is over.