A Long Time Coming: Student Find His Motivation Through Sports


Andrew Sosanya, Editor-in-Chief

After years of various struggles, sophomore runner Benjamin Guerin, an Irvington native, is on his way to prominence.

In 2009, Benjamin was a skinny eighth grader looking for an sport to participate in. He tried water polo, but it just didn’t work out for him.Then, he saw his friends practicing with the cross country team and suddenly wanted to join. At that moment he was motivated to get faster than his friends and get even better.

“We were competitive towards each other when we realized there were people faster than us,” said his teammate senior Isaac Tucker-Rasbury.

When Benjamin was a freshman, Edward Cheserek came to St.Benedict’s Prep, was timed trialed for the mile and immediately rose to the top of the food chain.

Benjamin thought that he could never get even half as fast as Edward was.

“I was just chasing Edward,” he said.

At first, Benjamin only wanted to beat teammates and win medals, but then he developed an appreciation and devotion to running.His favorite events are the 800-meter run and 1-mile races. His dedication to practice runs in Branch Brook Park grew even more as the years passed.

Benji 4 “Cross Country is what made me a distance runner,” Benjamin said.

At his races, Benjamin said he saw new and unfamiliar sights and people – different from the landscape of the inner city.

By the end of 2010, his freshman year, he was a solid contributor on the track team with a 4:38 mile.

However, he wasn’t focused on becoming a student athlete.

Benjamin was a mediocre student performing below average, academically and behaviorally.

“I used to find myself with absences and Fs,” said Benjamin.

He was even suspended, which led to him missing half of sophomore year and having to do a fifth year here.

After his hiatus, Benjamin resumed running. “It was the only thing that didn’t make me feel bad,” he said.

Through track, Benjamin harvested an ambition to do better. He started putting in more effort  in school and getting his grades up so he could keep running.This led to him creating an agenda for himself. “Yea, it helped me create goals for myself,” he said.

He has gotten more enthusiastic toward coming to school. He would always be the first one to be in his workout clothes ready for practice right after school.

“Benjamin would be ready at any given moment to run, he’d have his gear under his uniform.” said Isaac.

But in the summer of 2013 came Edwin Rutto, another Kenyan who would soon steal Benjamin’s spotlight.

Benjamin brushed it off and still kept going forward, “desperate for [ attention] , but I didn’t care.”

Benjamin still strives with a current 4:23 mile and plans to end the season with a 1:56 time in the 800 meters and 4:16 in the mile.

Apart from running, Benjamin wants to study and become a certified registered nurse anaesthetist after college.

Running track and cross country for five years, Benjamin has loved what the sport has done for him.

“Now I am used to working in the long run to reap the benefits at the end.”