This past weekend, Swarthmore men’s cross country competed in the Centennial Conference Championships, finishing in fourth place. Traversing the 8K course in Cockeysville, MD, Aidan Cantine, a junior from Sammamish, WA, led the Garnet to success. Finishing in fourth place, Cantine earned All-Centennial Conference honors. Cantine and the Swarthmore men’s cross country team will next compete on Saturday, Nov. 13, in the NCAA Regionals.
Anna Suh: What attracted you to Swarthmore’s cross country program?
Aidan Cantine: I was attracted to the program’s emphasis on a balance between academics and athletics. This gave me the opportunity to pursue my academic focuses while also receiving a fulfilling athletic experience. I liked being able to participate in a competitive conference while achieving the academic goals I set for myself each semester.
AS: What is your major and why?
AC: After taking intro to computer science my first semester, I realized I really enjoyed the strategic problem-solving process programming projects involved. After taking a couple of other computer science classes, I knew computer science was the field I wanted to focus my studies in, so I declared my major in that subject.
AS: What have been your personal and team goals for the season?
AC: My personal goal for this season has been to improve my previous best times for each cross-country course when I ran them two years ago. Our team goals this season have been to do well in our conference and to beat teams that we have been close with over the last few years.
AS: What is your favorite thing to do with the cross country team outside of practices and meets?
AC: My favorite thing to do with the team outside of meets and practices is to eat dinner together. A big part of our team culture is having our meals together, and the conversations that happen at Sharples are always entertaining and sometimes even a bit enlightening.
AS: What are your pre- and post-meet rituals?
AC: The night before a meet, I always like to eat pasta and get lots of sleep. I also tend to hydrate a lot, beginning the days leading up to the meet. Shortly before the race, I always do dynamics and make sure to fit in some strides. Post-race, I usually go on a two-mile cooldown, do a stretching routine, and then support my teammates in the following races.
AS: What is the most important lesson that you have learned from your time on the team?
AC: The most important lesson I learned from my time on the team is that running matters beyond just the time. I’ve formed so many important relationships with coaches and teammates, which has helped me develop as an athlete and a person as a whole.
AS: What has been your favorite moment of the season thus far?
AC: My favorite moment of the season so far has been seeing a teammate running very well — leading the race in first place — through the first mile of one of the 8k races.
AS: What are your goals for the NCAA regionals?
AC: My goal for the NCAA regionals is to run a well-executed race and to finish competitively within the field of athletes.
AS: Favorite Sharples bar?
AC: Definitely pasta bar.