McInerney Ready to Help Lead CBA to Another Big XC Season

McInerney made the MileSplit Kick of the Week this past spring season after a 1600m dual with Drew Maher at Monmouth County Champs. 

Like every runner that pulls on a CBA singlet, Tim McInerney knows all about the history and tradition of excellence that has been built by all the runners who came before him at Christian Brothers Academy.

The unparalleled legacy of greatness sustained over several decades by the CBA program is something that serves as motivation for McInerney and everyone else on the CBA squad as the Colts prepare to make another run at a national title and extend their state and national records.

With McInerney, Luke Reid, and Troy Hill leading the charge, CBA begins the season ranked No. 1 in N.J. It's heavily favored to repeat as Meet of Champions winner and win its state record 23rd title. Paul VI has the 2nd most M of C titles with four.

CBA will also be seeking to extend its state record to 29 Non-Public A titles. But it's biggest goal is to win its second Nike National title. CBA, which won the 2011 Nike National Championship, placed seventh at Nike Nationals last December and has run at Nike National eight straight years.

 But there's some other business CBA has to take care of before the championship season begins.

When CBA opens its season this Friday at home in a tri-meet vs. Middletown South and Freehold Boro, it will be putting its national dual meet winning streak of 357 in a row on the line. CBA hasn't lost a dual meet since losing to Raritan, 15-50, on Oct. 20, 1973. The streak began with a 15-50 versus Marist on Sept. 19, 1974.

McInerney, who had a breakout junior season last year by running 16:22 at Holmdel Park and then dropping huge PR's of 4:10.37 in the 1,600 and 1:54.17 last spring, will be one of the catalysts for CBA when it chases its big goals this season.      

So how does McInerney feel about the upcoming season, CBA's history, and his emergence as one of the state's top runners?

Find out by checking out this Q and A interview with McInerney, which ranges from CBA's quest for a national title, the national record dual meet streak, training, XC camp, college visits, and what it's like to run for the greatest program in state history.  

Q&A with Tim McInerney of CBA

Tell me about your summer training. How many miles a week have you been running, and where have you mostly been running? Is your training different from last summer? If so, in what way is it different?

Summer training has been going very well. This year we are taking our time and building up with hopes that come the post season we will feel fresh. So far it has been a gradual buildup as we slowly increase the mileage. We alternate practice between CBA and Holmdel park for the most part. On the days without practice the team typically meets up at CBA, Holmdel, and Huber Woods park. This year I have really taken my training and focus to another level than in the past. Everything is done with a specific goal in mind. Everyday I typically either run double or cross-train in order to get as fit as possible.

I know you and your teammates have been putting in lots of mileage together. When did XC training begin for you and your teammates, and how much do you feel it helps for teammates to train together as often as possible throughout the summer?  

Each year everyone typically begins training at different points. Depending on how far into the postseason you race, everyone gets one week off with no running, then another week with a few jogs to loosen the legs up. At CBA, we are very grateful to have one another to always hold each other accountable training wise. Having teammates to always run with definitely makes working hard a little bit easier.

I know you and your teammates went to the Radix Running Camp. What did you take away from your experience at the camp? How important do you think it is for a team to go to camp together, train together, and bond together? How much do you think that helps in your preparation for the upcoming season?

Camp is always a great bonding and training experience for the team. Personally, I love camp because you come out of it with great confidence after a solid week of hard work. Living with all of your best friends for a week helps strengthen that bond that is crucial to achieving high goals. Radix is a great place to be and to spend time with some truly amazing people and athletes.

Every runner who toes the line wearing a CBA singlet knows all about the streak? What does the national record dual meet winning streak mean to you, and what are your thoughts on the responsibility and importance for your team to keep the streak alive and carry on the great tradition at CBA this season?

The streak is a representation of all the hard work of the generations that have worn our jersey. It is something that I am sure everyone hears all the time and is probably sick of, but when you run in that uniform you are not just running for yourself.

Your team lost a great front runner to graduation in Brian Hill. As a senior now, how has your role changed from a leadership standpoint heading into this season?   

Brian left some big shoes to fill and he will always be a name that CBA runners years from now will know about. The goal is to lead my team to do great things along with guys like Luke Reid and Troy Hill.

You are coming off a breakout season on the track with PR's of 4:10.37 in the 1,600 and 1:54.17 in the 800. How much of a huge confidence builder was that for you, and how much hungrier did that make you to have the best XC season of your career this fall?

It was definitely a confidence booster, but it left me with bigger goals and better focus. It showed me that there is no reason I can't achieve what I want out of this sport and that I am capable of anything with a lot of hard work.

Your team returns a lot of great talent from last year, so what are the team goals for you and your teammates this season? I know winning the Meet of Champions and contending for a top spot at Nike Nationals are always huge goals for the Colts.

Same goals as always; win a national title and everything else along the way. As long as we leave everything out there this season the results will come. We have a very talented group of guys this year and we are really embracing the mindset of doing whatever it takes.

After hitting 13:13 at Vanny, 16:22 at Holmdel, 16:45 at Bowdoin, and 16:30 at Nike Nationals last year, what are your big personal goals for this season?     

Personally, I am hungrier than ever to lead my team to its very big goals. I want to be one of the best locally and nationally as long as I am helping my teammates better themselves. There are no limits in this sport, and I definitely have some very ambitious goals in the back of my mind.

What is the story behind how you became a runner? When did you first start running, and how did it come about?

My running story is a little bit different from most. I came to CBA to play soccer and played freshman year. My homeroom teacher, Coach Cusick, was coaching jumps at the time and convinced me to come high jump for him. In freshman year I sprinted and jumped, but by the end of outdoor I had split 2:00 for the 800 a few times so I decided to transition to distance. Here we are now and I wouldn't change a thing.

What do you love the most about being runner, and what do you love the most about running in N.J.?

I love that there are no limits in this sport. If I want to win a national title, then I need to train like a guy who wants to win one. Running in New Jersey is very competitive in a lot of ways. There are a lot of guys who can contend at a very high level, and I can't wait to see how things play out.

What do you love the most about being a runner for arguably the greatest distance running program in the country? I can only imagine how special it feels to run with those three letters (C-B-A) on your singlet.   

I love how close the team is and how much everyone pushes each other. The sense of tradition is amazing and we are always being propelled by the guys of the past. It is something that is very hard to understand unless you have experienced how amazing it really is.

Have you lined up any official college visits yet?

Currently, I am looking at continuing my running career at a few schools with some of those being Villanova University,  The University of Texas, The University of Washington, The University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Michigan. I am considering a few other schools as well.