In running, said Will Geoghegan, you don’t always realize just how much you’re improving.

“It’s really funny,” Geoghegan said in a phone interview from Eugene, Oregon. “I remember when I was a freshman in high school thinking that running under 10 (minutes) in the 2-mile seemed impossible.

“I don’t know if I ever envisioned where I am now. I just tried to get better every year and hoped eventually to be in a good place.”

These days, Geoghegan is in a very good place. The 2010 Brunswick High graduate is heading into this weekend’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s indoor track and field championships as one of the top distance runners for the University of Oregon, where he is studying for his master’s degree in computer science.

Geoghegan, 22, is seeded eighth for Friday’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:43.22 and is seeded second in Saturday’s 3,000 with a time of 7:45.71. The Ducks are ranked second behind Florida in their attempt to successfully defend their 2014 national championship.

“I think he’ll do something special this weekend,” said Andy Powell, the Oregon distance coach.


Geoghegan is thinking more simply.

“First and foremost, I want to score as many points as possible for the team,” he said. “We are trying to win the team title. Personally, my goal is to not lose to anyone who isn’t also from Oregon. Some of my biggest competition is going to be my teammates. There are a ton of other good guys, but I just want to beat everyone from the other schools.”

Geoghegan, who was the first Maine men’s finisher in last summer’s TD Beach to Beacon 10K, is certainly enjoying his year with Oregon, one of the nation’s most prestigious track programs. He graduated last May from Dartmouth with a degree in computer science, but had athletic eligibility remaining because he did not run indoor or outdoor track his freshman year.

Geoghegan decided to follow the path of former Dartmouth distance runners Matt Miner and Alexi Pappas, who also transferred to Oregon after graduation.

“Obviously things have gone really well,” he said. “But this season really all comes down to what I do (this) weekend.”

Powell said he has fit in well with Oregon’s top distance runners like Johnny Gregorek, Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins. “He’s been fun to watch,” said Powell. “Those top guys watch him in practice and he makes everything look easy.”


Dave DeLois, who coached Geoghegan at Brunswick, isn’t surprised. Geoghegan always had the talent and drive. “Being out there where he’s got guys all around him with the same athletic ability, when you’ve got guys who can train like that, you’re going to get better,” said DeLois.

But there was a big learning curve when Geoghegan arrived in Eugene. The fact he didn’t compete in fall cross country helped him adjust.

“In terms of getting used to the training, to the grad program, I think it was helpful not to have that stress of racing as well,” he said. “It was definitely the best few months of training I ever had.”

With nothing to worry about other than classes and training, he also adjusted to Oregon’s training program, which involved more than just running.

“It’s definitely a different experience,” said Geoghegan. “I had a lot of success at Dartmouth under that program (including a fifth-place finish in the indoor mile at last year’s NCAA championships). In terms of actual running, it’s not that much different from what we do. It’s more doing the little things, the other things, that are emphasized here, whether it’s strength training or doing things to avoid injury, eating right. Things like that go a long way and there’s a lot of emphasis on that here.”

Geoghegan also got to know his teammates. And they got to know him.


“He’s got those physical attributes that make him really good,” said Powell. “More important, he’s a good kid, the type of guy you want to get into your program.

“You want those New Englanders on your team because they’re tough and good. He’s a role model, a good leader. To come in as a fifth-year and become one of the leaders of the team, that speaks a lot about him.”

Geoghegan has run only three races this winter but put up impressive times. He ran a 3:58.36 mile in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships. He dropped his personal best in the 5,000 by 12.70 seconds. In the Millrose Games in February, he ran the eighth-fastest 3,000-meter time in NCAA history. He finished second to teammate Jenkins, who ran a 7:44.91 – the seventh-fastest all-time.

“Yeah, I think I definitely made a little bit of a jump,” said Geoghegan.

Powell isn’t surprised and, in fact, thinks we haven’t seen the best of Geoghegan.

“His speed is great,” he said. “I think the 5K is where he can make an impact, and not just on the collegiate scene but the U.S. scene.”

Geoghegan may run professionally some day. Right now he just wants to run well for the Ducks.

“Running is something I’d like to keep pursuing,” he said. “It all depends on what happens the next few months. Hopefully I can finish this off and go from there.”

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