Athlete Feature 48 - Kevin Dooney - USA Athletics Scholarships

Athlete Feature 48 – Kevin Dooney

Kevin Dooney

tbUSA – How did you get started running?

Both my parents and my brother ran internationally before I even got started running so I was always surrounded by it. I used to run mile races on Christmas Day but that was about it until I started secondary school at 13, it was pretty slow going to begin with. When I was 16 I gave up rugby and committed full time to running. I was lucky enough to have my parents send me off to Raheny Shamrock AC and to be coached by Dick Hooper. It was under him that things really began to get going for me.

tbUSA – How did you end up deciding on Yale?

I had always been interested in America even before I started running and once running opened the door of coming here I felt I was always going to take the chance. My brother coming to Yale definitely influenced my decision. He had such a great time here it basically seemed like a bad idea to go anywhere else. Any time you get a chance to study at a place like Yale, while also being able to run at the highest level is something that’s very hard to turn down.

Any time you get a chance to study at a place like Yale, while also being able to run at the highest level is something that’s very hard to turn down

tbUSA – Did other Irish athletes coming over and their success influence your decision to go stateside?

Absolutely, seeing how many people had come over here, improved in their running and also had great experiences helped the decision a lot. The fact that it’s a well-trodden path helped a lot. There was no shortage of people in Ireland to talk to about the process and the pros and cons of being here. I feel like I definitely made the right decision.

tbUSA – What is a typical day at Yale like?

Normally I like to get up around 7:30 and go for a morning shakeout. I then make breakfast at home and try get some reading done before class which starts at 9 or 9:30 depending on the day. Normally I’ll have two or three classes from then until 2:30 when I’ll get the shuttle from the gym out to our indoor track for practice. Monday and Thursday we’ll do easy runs and strides before coming back to the gym for lift. On Tuesday and Friday we’ll do a session. After practice we’ll normally eat as a team, after that I’ll head home and do some homework or hang out with my housemates. Normally I’ll try to be in bed before 11 every night.

tbUSA – Do you find it hard getting a balance between your academic and sporting commitments?

It gets hard sometimes of year, especially during midterm season when all exams and papers are due. But for the most part I try to stay on top of things. It can get hard towards the end of the year when you’re travelling a lot for races and also trying to get final assignments done but professors are often understanding which is great.

tbUSA – How has your season been going so far?

So far I’d say my season has been solid, nothing spectacular. I ran well in my first two races but Pre-nats and Heps didn’t quite go how I would’ve like. But I’ve learned a lot from those two races so I believe I’m in a good position coming into regionals

tbUSA – What are your aims for the current season?

Hopefully to get through regionals tomorrow and then have a good run at NCAA’s. I’d love to make it to All-American but I know that’ll be very tough this year. After that I’m hoping the make the U23 team for the Euro Cross in Bulgaria in December.

tbUSA – Would you recommend Yale to a prospective student athlete?

Yes, Yale is a great place to come study and run. You get a great opportunity to combine both academics and athletics here and do both at the very highest level.

tbUSA -Since it’s Nationals can you give us some predictions.

Men’s Team – Colorado

Women’s Team – Michigan State

Men’s Individual – Edward Cheserek

Women’s Individual – Shelby Houlihan

Highest placed British/Irish Men’s Individual (yourself excluded)- Shane Quinn

Highest placed British/Irish Women’s Individual – Kate Avery

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