A trifecta of wins has lead to a record season for senior distance runner Elias Lindgren '18. He won the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) Cross Country Championship race on Saturday, October 28, with a personal best time of 16:24.
He is the first EA male runner to win the state meet since PAISAA took over the race thirty years ago.
"It was really, really awesome to come out on top of the PAISAA meet," said Elias. "I had some really great competition, and I knew going in to the race that I wouldn't be able to take anything for granted. My opponents really pushed me to take myself to my limit."
A week earlier, on October 23, Elias ran a personal best and won the Inter-Ac Championship race (16:26).
"We have not had an EA male runner win the Inter-Ac race in over 15 years," said varsity coach Jim Farrell, Hon. "This is a great accomplishment for EA and another great accomplishment for Elias." In September, Elias won the Briarwood Invitational (16:35).
"Elias has had a great individual season, but an even better year as one of our captains," said Farrell. "He is a tremendous leader, and he is respected by the kids on the team and the kids in the school. Elias is looking forward to his last Haverford day race and the Footlocker Regionals during Thanksgiving weekend in New York."
"It was super awesome to come out of this year's race [Inter-Ac] with the individual victory. Last year, I went in to the race with the same goal, but I was too nervous and tight and had a terrible race," explained Elias. "This year I was much more relaxed, and ran far better — a minute and a half faster than my time last year. I had a lot of confidence from my early season victory at the Briarwood Invitational, on the same course where Inter-Acs is held, and I took off at the same place where I took at Briarwood."
The boys' team placed third overall in the PAISAA meet. The girls' team came in fifth.
The EA boys' and girls' teams placed third overall at the Inter-Ac Championship meet.
Both the PAISAA and the Inter-Ac Championship races were held at Belmont Plateau.
"I couldn't have asked for better coaches than I've had at EA, and I'll miss them all a lot," said Elias. "They know exactly what's right for my training and are excellent human beings to boot."
Elias holds the school record on the Celentano cross country course, and in the 3200 (9:27:30). His goal is to break the 800m and 1600m records in the spring. Elias is also the member of three school record relay teams: 4 by a mile, 4 by 800 and the distance medley relay.
Next on the agenda? "I'm hoping that our team can beat Haverford for the first time in my high school career. We have a really strong team this year with a lot of depth, full of guys who have worked hard to get to where they are. It's going to be a close race, but I'm confident we can do it," said Elias.
The team races against The Haverford School on Saturday, November 11 during EA/Haverford/AIS Weekend.