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Athlete of the Week, Showcase, Sports

A Humble Runner

When NHS senior Tim Foldy-Porto set the course record and won the cross country tri-meet at South Hadley last Tuesday, he credited it not only to his own strength and willpower, but to the skill and dynamic of his team as a whole.

“Any of the guys could have won,” said Foldy-Porto, adding that his victory was essentially prearranged by the team. “Our team is so great not because any individual is outstanding, but just because of our team dynamic. We work well together and we flow together.”

Foldy-Porto’s time in the race was 17:48, nearly a minute slower than his personal record of 16:51. He said, however, that the course was very slow, with “about 100 feet of vertical gain, with 500 feet of climb.” Nevertheless, he was still very pleased with the victory, which was his first.

Foldy-Porto, also a cross country team captain, is a three-season runner, and this is his fourth season of cross country. He said he favors cross country over the indoor and outdoor track seasons, in which he runs middle distance, because he enjoys the scenery of the woods more than that of the track.

“(The cross country season) is one of my favorite times of year,” Foldy-Porto said. “But I wouldn’t say it overwhelms my life the way it does (for) the other guys on the team.”

Foldy-Porto’s teammate Aidan Gilson agreed that he definitely keeps it light, and adds a comedic aspect to the team. Sophomore teammate Josh Dobrow attested to this, saying that Foldy-Porto is “hilarious,” but also brings hard work and determination to the sport.

Boys cross country coach Brandon Palmer labeled Foldy-Porto as “the pace pusher.” He said Foldy-Porto has always been the guy to urge his teammates to work a little bit harder.

Freshman runner Philip Hempstead also added, “He’s an important leader because he has a lot of experience. He can guide the team and give younger runners advice.”

In addition to cross-county, Foldy-Porto plays piano in two bands and is in the midst of a busy senior year. However, he says he is able to balance his various activities well with cross country.

Foldy-Porto would like to pursue cross country in college, although perhaps not at the varsity level. His goal for the remainder of the season is to hit 16:30 for his personal record, which he aims to achieve in the last meets of the season.