Trent Lusignan of South Dakota State University placed 12th in this weekend's NCAA cross country championships. Outside of the SDSU crowd and Minnesota running fans, this hasn't gotten any press. I had picked him 8th in the Letsrun predictions, surprised that they even had him as a voting choice. His goal was to be All-American and most of our fantasy cross country league had him optimistically placed in the 30-40 range. The only reason he was featured with an interview on Flotrack was because Alex Lohr ran for the Jackrabbits. I already went through the credentials of just a few of the men that he defeated yesterday but I will do it again here.
-Chris O'Hare- UK Olympian and fastest collegiate miler ever at 3:52
-Kemoy Campbell- Jamaican 1500m record holder and 13:32 5k PR
-Anthony Rotich- 4th place at NCAA last fall and 8:21 steeple PR
-Paul Katam- Runner up finish in 10k at NCAA outdoors 2013
-Paul Chelimo- 2x NCAA 5k Runner up
-Mac Fleet- NCAA 1500m Champion
There are many more runners in the field with more impressive credentials than Trent. His best race to date was at Pre-Nationals earlier this year where he ran 23:49 for 19th place. There was a deeper race the same day at Wisconsin so at best he was about 40th best guy in the nation at that time. I high school, Trent was good but not anywhere near a national contender. He had PRs of 9:20 and 4:20 in track and his best finish at a state meet was 4th place in cross country his senior year. The 3 boys ahead of him all run for Minnesota. 2 of them have not done much and the third has done just a little more.
Now that you know a little more about this guy, why did he run so well? A big reason might be that he attends SDSU where facilities are limited and weather is poor. He is essentially forced to train in the cold and windy prairie all year. This was just another run for him. Another reason is the ridiculous poise and mental fortitude that he carries with him into races. In interviews, he talks about the plan that he and his coach, Olympian Rod DeHaven, formulated. By the way it sounds, he executed the plan flawlessly.
Congratulations to Trent and Rod. Days like this one make me even more proud to be a Jackrabbit Alum.