Aidan Cantine ’23, a senior from Ridgewood, NJ, led the Swarthmore men’s cross country team in his season debut at the Paul Short Run on Friday, Sept. 30. The former NCAA National Championship qualifier placed an impressive 2nd place among Centennial Conference competition and 34th place overall, with a time of 24:39.9 in the 8K (5 mile) race.
Sophia Vesely: Can you tell us a little bit more about your success at the Paul Short Run? What was going through your mind as you crossed the finish line?
Aidan Cantine: Since the Paul Short meet was my first race of this season, I decided to run the first three miles somewhat conservatively. As I was still feeling good by mile three, I decided to pick up my pace and finish the last couple of miles faster. Crossing the finish line, I was happy to have finished the 8K course in a new personal course record.
SV: What are some of your personal goals for the rest of the season?
AC: My personal goals are to continue to improve upon my strengths as a runner, including becoming smarter and more strategic with my training and racing, and of course, trying to improve upon my course best times from the previous year.
SV: What are some of the team’s goals for the rest of the season?
AC: The primary team goals this season are to do well in our conference championship meet and to qualify for nationals as a team. We have a strong mix of returning team members and new first-year students, so together we have great potential to achieve our goals this season.
SV: What has been a highlight of the season for you?
AC: The season is just getting started, but so far a highlight would be the Paul Short meet because it was a huge meet on a great course with a lot of competition. The entire team gets to race, and it’s our first full distance race of the season, so it’s exciting to see how much everyone has improved from the previous year.
SV: As a senior, can you speak to your experience over the past four years on Swarthmore men’s cross country?
AC: My experience on the team for the past four years, although cut short a year by the pandemic, has been a great learning experience. I’ve been able to grow and develop as a runner, train with my team and coaches, and also make great friends along the way. Each year our team gets stronger, and we’re all excited to see what we can achieve this season.
SV: Do you have any pre- or post-meet rituals?
AC: The day leading up to the meet, I focus on hydrating and carb loading, and I always like to get a good warm-up in around an hour before the race. Post-meet, I usually cool down a couple miles and stretch afterward.
SV: What are some of your other interests at Swarthmore?
AC: Some of my other interests at Swarthmore include game development and film. As a computer science major, the programming I’ve learned has helped me pursue one of my interests of creating online games. Additionally, I’ve always had an interest in filmmaking, which I’m exploring through film coursework this year.
SV: Favorite Sharples bar?
AC: Definitely pasta bar.