The men’s cross country program could soon be going viral.
That’s because freshmen runners John Trueman and Connor Ryan have started a blog based on their experiences during their first year on the team. The blog, featured on Penn Athletics’ website, is expected to touch on everything from freshman anxieties and team workouts to college life.
Trueman jumped at the opportunity to start a blog after men’s cross country assistant coach Robin Martin hinted at the idea.
“I had been kind of toying with the idea of maybe a Twitter for the freshmen because I’ve been following the PennTrack Twitter account,” Trueman said. “When the idea was suggested, we were right on board with it.”
Trueman claims the purpose of the blog is to give prospective students an inside look at what goes on inside the Penn cross country program.
“It’d be nice if a recruit came in and said, ‘Your blog kind of swung me and gave me an unbiased viewpoint, so if I come to Penn, with much better coaching support, I’ll be able to take my running game to the next level,’” Trueman said.
“I know back when I was looking at schools, it would have been cool to read something like that,” Ryan added.
The duo plans to submit posts on a weekly basis from now until the end of the season. Fortunately for their target audience of prospective recruits, Trueman and Ryan claim to have a wealth of relieving experiences from which to draw.
“One of my [apprehensions] was that I was going to get blown out of the water,” Ryan admitted. “I actually was more on the walk-on side of it and John was more of a recruit, but neither of us was a top recruit in the class. So both of us had those apprehensions about going to practice and just being dropped by the guys running ahead, and that hasn’t happened.”
As freshmen runners, recruitment is a high priority for Ryan and Trueman since they don’t compete as often as their upperclassman teammates.
“Our most important job right now is probably the recruiting process,” Trueman said. “There are times when [recruits’] resumes are superior to all of ours, but it’s our job to bring these guys in and make sure they see what Penn’s all about and that we’re moving in the right direction. In that sense, we’re definitely contributing, even if it’s not on the cross country course.”
Although Ryan and Trueman don’t expect to compete in the Heptagonal Championships at Princeton next Saturday, they’re willing to argue that they will soon be leading a top-notch cross country program.
“We’ve got five of the top 30 runners in the nation coming in,” Trueman boasted. “You’ve got to try to encourage [prospective runners] and get them to realize that they can be a part of creating their own legacy and tradition here.”