Senior represents College; Bocchino takes on Nationals

The 2010 Division III Cross Country Championships took place last week, which was held at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Senior TJ Bocchino represented the Lions, posting a time of 25:34.0 in the 8K event. Bocchino’s effort placed him 116th out of 279 runners.

“Just having that experience going from year to year at nationals is huge,” Bocchino said. “I remember being a freshman and having no idea what to expect and last weekend it knew almost exactly what to expect. Just having that preparedness and knowing what to base your race plan around is great.”

Bocchino landed a spot in the Division III Championship by having an outstanding performance at the NCAA Atlantic Regional in Oneonta, New York. In the event Bocchino placed 17th out of 268 runners with a time of 25:27.6. Bocchino was the lone qualifier from the College for the men’s and women’s cross country programs.

Nationals are different than any other event throughout the typical cross-country season. The caliber of runners is so much deeper, and nationals include runners from many different schools.

“The thing about the National meet is that everyone has earned their way there and everyone wants it,” Bocchino said. “Some other meets throughout the year some people couldn’t care less about. But when you toe the line at nationals, there’s almost 300 other guys out there that want it just as bad as you do.”

Bocchino had an outstanding season and career. Having to deal with the pressures and time-consuming nature of student teaching, Bocchino was able to overcome both obstacles with great success. Looking back, Bocchino had an extremely rewarding and satisfying tenure at the College as both a student and an athlete.

“I’ve done things in my college career that I never thought possible coming in,” Bocchino said. “But this year I felt like I could have done something special. I’d just like to thank anyone who’s ever come out to support me or wish me well during my career. It’s been everything that I could have really asked for and I’m looking forward to a successful track season.”