Senior Vinny Bruno becomes first cross country athlete to complete a marathon

Vinny Bruno completed his goal of running a marathon with the help of his coaches and teammates

Setting+a+new+school+record%2C+senior+Vinny+Bruno+holds+his+medals+proudly+after+finishing+in+first+place+in+the+Garmin+Olathe+Marathon%2C+Tuesday%2C+May+10.+

By Liz Coenen

Setting a new school record, senior Vinny Bruno holds his medals proudly after finishing in first place in the Garmin Olathe Marathon, Tuesday, May 10.

Abigail Troilo, JagWire reporter/photographer

On Saturday, April 23, senior Vinny Bruno ran the Garmin Olathe Marathon – In the Land of Oz – race, making school history.

Bruno is the only student in school history to run a marathon, according to head cross country and track coach Chris McAfee. Bruno placed first in his age group and finished strong but, without his supportive coaches and teammates, he believes he wouldn’t have been able to do it. 

Bruno has always wanted to run a marathon but never imagined himself winning one.

“Since I started high school, I wanted to run a marathon before I graduated,” Bruno said.

Additionally, Bruno did not expect to get the amount of support he received throughout his race, as nearly the whole cross country team came to support him throughout the entire race.

“I could barely move my body but I had people that were with me helping me out,” Bruno said. “The most memorable part for me was every time I saw my coaches and my teammates. [On] Mile 17 or 18 I saw my team and that just motivated me and next thing I know I started picking up the pace a little more.”

McAfee was with Bruno from the beginning to the end, with Bruno telling McAfee he was going to run the marathon and to the final miles where he needed the support of his coach.

“I thought it was a crazy endeavor to do but hats off to him and credit to him for really committing himself to doing it and accomplishing his goal,” McAfee said. 

McAfee enjoys being part of Bruno’s training process and thinks it was a meaningful experience for him. 

“For the time that he put into [preparing for the marathon] and the effort he put into it and seeing [Bruno] succeed, I thought it was really cool to know that myself and other coaches got to be a small part of that,” McAfee said. “It’s really awesome.” 

Sophomore AJ Vega was one of the cross country team members that came to watch Bruno.

“I think it was only the right thing to do as a teammate to go and watch him and support him,” Vega said.

Vega sees Bruno as a role model from his dedication to running and his contribution to the team.

“He definitely likes to implement hard work and dedication into not just me, I think everyone, so I think he definitely is a role model,” Vega said.

Bruno’s dedication and love for the team shows teammates like Vega how hard work pays off and how to reach a hard goal.

“I think we all enjoy his presence every day because he’s a very nice guy and very understanding,” Vega said.

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