Salute to Seniors: Tim Dolan of Hopewell Valley

Salute To Seniors is a medium for "senior farewells". We wanted to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time as well as invite those seniors to tell their stories from the past four years. We will be posting this series through July, we already have a number of submissions and if you would like to submit check out this article for how to do so.

What was your most memorable moment?

Easily the most memorable race of high school had to be the Penn Relays DMR Championship of America. With my family's running background, the meet itself was already a holiday for the Dolans. My brother and I had skipped school on the Friday of Penn Relays every year since 6th grade, so actually running in it was that much better. Leading up to the race, we knew we could put together something special, even though we were not amongst the favorites. We really wanted to win and thought we could, but everything had to go our way in order for that dream to come to fruition. Teddy Meredith ran a perfect 1200 leg in 3:02 to hand off to Amos Barnes in the lead, Amos held his own and broke 51 FAT for the first time ever on the 400, I ran at the point the race of my life with a 1:56 on the 800 leg to hand off to Sean (Dolan) in 3rd place. We knew that if we handed the baton to Sean within 50-75 meters of the lead that we would have a shot. Sure enough, it turned out to be the magic we hoped for, as Sean came from nowhere to win us the Championship of America in a record time of 9:57.77, stunning the crowd and our team. This race will forever hold a special place in my memory because it was a complete team effort, with everyone doing exactly what they needed to do in order for us to win. Not only that, but being able to share the moment with my best friends and family on the track that will be my home for the next 4 years is something I will never forget. It still gives me chills thinking about it.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

This question allows me to brag about Mercer County a little bit, since the last 4 years have allowed me to race some of the best guys in the state and even the country, all from our area. Princeton really set the tone with winning MOC in XC my junior year, as they set the high mark that the rest of the county wanted to match/surpass. This led to Mercer County having 4 of the top 10 individuals and 3 of the top 8 teams at MOC this past fall. Our county meet outdoors really showed me how deep Mercer really is, as 4:17 did not even medal in the 1600. We had numerous All-Americans, individual and relays (special shoutout to West Windsor North on winning the 4xMile at New Balance and Princeton for getting All-American too). Not too many counties can say that they're as deep as Mercer County, and that level of competition/friendship that was created over the last 4 years is something I will always appreciate.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

Personally, my greatest accomplishment was making it to the MOC indoors this past winter. Although I had run in the MOC on relays and in XC, it was really great to know that I had the ability to make the state meet as an individual. Last spring I missed MOC in the 1600 by 0.1 seconds, so it felt good to finally check off one of my goals for high school.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?

I would definitely be more confident in my abilities and training before races. There were way too many times where I created my own mental blocks that hindered my performance, and I didn't really start believing in myself 100% until the end of XC my senior year. If I would do it all over again, there would be more self-assurance regarding my journey to the starting line.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I was fortunate to not have many obstacles during my high school career, but there was one major scare that almost ended my season early this year. Between New Balance Indoors and outdoor season I had the best workout of my life, and I was super excited about opening my season at the Raleigh Relays Dream Mile Qualifier. However, at the end of my workout I had a sharp pain in my right foot, to the point where I could barely walk. I took time off and came back to running, but the pain was still evident and strong. Negative thoughts about stress fractures and missing my senior outdoor season kept popping into my head, as I really wanted to be healthy and fit for Penn Relays. Luckily, the injury was only a cyst that flared up, I missed a few weeks of running but came back and barely missed a step, leading to my best season of high school.

Hopewell Valley's Team Title Interview from 2017 Indoor Group Relay Championships

What will you miss the most?

100% will miss my team more than anything. Our team was really deep and talented, which would make for interesting relay combinations, unpredictable lineup options, and a whole lot of success. Shoutout to Teddy Meredith, my brother Sean Dolan, John O'Connor, Will Titus, Alex Dumont, and Mike Pavicic for the great memories and for always being there. Although we graduate 3 guys, the team is in really good hands with our young guys, as their experiences will help the team immensely. I'm really going to miss running with the Hopewell guys.

What advice would you give to younger athletes?

Trust your training, believe in yourself. Listen to your body, and do the little things such as stretching, eating right, and getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally will make you the best runner you can be.

What are your post-high school or college plans?

I plan on attending the University of Pennsylvania, where I will be running for my father. My major is currently undecided.

Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

First I'd like to thank Coach Oldfield and Coach Johnson, for always believing in me even when I thought I wouldn't run any faster. Next, I want to thank my teammates again for being my best friends and great training partners. Workouts were always a competitive atmosphere since we had such a talented group, making races that much easier. 

Anything else you would like to add?