Athlete Feature! Con-Val’s Veverka, Hurley, Coyne!

When did you start running?

Rachel Hurley: I started track as a freshman but didn’t run cross-country until junior year.

Evan Coyne: I began doing track & field in 5th grade and I started running cross country in my sophomore year.

Clare Veverka: When I was about 12, I did my first half marathon, but I only started track in 8th grade and cross country freshman year.

Briefly describe the experience as a member of your team/program. Give an example of some of the fun stuff your team does together.

RH: Being part of a cross-country team is awesome! We all work together, support one another and become good friends. One fun thing the team does are breakfasts after Saturday long runs. We drink so much chocolate milk and Schuyler’s dad bakes us this giant egg scramble dish which is the most amazing thing.

EC: I really enjoy being a part of the Con-Val cross country team. Like most  teams, they are filled with some of the nicest people you can find. Everybody is welcoming, supportive and fun to be around. An example of some of the fun stuff we do as a team is that the night before some meets we have a pasta dinner as a team and if we have a lot of time at the end of a practice we might toss around a frisbee.

CV: I have been part of Con-Val’s XC team for 4 years! I have been so fortunate to see our team get better every single year and rise against odds. My team is pretty dang funny and no day is alike, making everyday fun in some way. Whether it be doing a waterslide, playing capture the flag, or the occasional pasta party, we have fun in some way often.

What are your team goals for this season?

RH: Con-Val girls have a really strong team this year and I think making New England’s is an attainable goal for us.

EC: I think one big team goal on the boys side is to make it to the Meet of Champions. Another goal is just to continue to improve as a team and try to reach our full potential.

CV: I really truly want to win a team state title this season!

How does your coach motivate you?

RH: My coach motivates me by always supporting me through good and bad. He is always positive and strives to have everyone race their best.

EC: A very important way that my coach motivates me is that he believes in me. Most of the time, when I tell him a goal that I have, he tells me that he thinks it is a possibility. He is also a very hard worker, a great person and a great role model.

CV: When it comes to practice everyday he reminds me that putting in the work day after day, although you might not see changes or big improvements right now, will make a huge difference in the big picture. He reassures me before a race that I have done all the work and to just let it rip and give it my all. A quote here and there from his inspirational quote book is pretty great too.

What motivates you to do well?

RH: I know that if I don’t try my best, I’ll end up kicking myself later, maybe a little too hard. I am happiest when I know I have put my best effort forward.

EC: I think what motivates me most is the idea of being better than my best.

CV: The number one thing that motivates me most is for sure just wanting to make the most of my God-given talent and ability, work my hardest every day. Also, I want to do everything I can to help my team out when it comes to race time.

What is your favorite workout?

RH: Workouts on the Rail Trail are always something I look forward to. It’s shaded and a nice change from typical track workouts. The team is also always together encouraging each other forward in these workouts!

EC: I’m not sure, but if I had to go with one I would say hill repeats. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I’m done with a hard workout and hill repeats are one of the harder ones.

CV: I am split between a bunch of 200’s @ really fast or mile repeats.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

RH: I love swimming. I used to dislike it, because it is hard to breathe. However, this summer I tried swimming when I took time off from running. As I improved, it became very enjoyable and a new hobby of mine.

EC: I really enjoy hiking, swimming, and biking. I am always active.

CV:  I honestly don’t do much, if any, cross training, but I love myself a good bike ride.

What is your go-to pre race meal?

RH: I don’t have one. If I did, then if I somehow couldn’t have that meal then I’d be nervous before the race even started!

EC: A piece of toast with jelly, preferably apricot, a strawberry banana smoothie, water and a banana or some other fruit.

CV:  QUICK oats, frozen fruit of some sort, maple syrup and a banana (maybe a few bananas, I love my bananas).

Do you have a favorite pre race song?

RH: “All Star” by Smash Mouth. I don’t have much of a choice however since the team blasts it every bus ride.

EC: Probably “Shakedown” by The Score

CV: I have a few… “Glorious” ( Macklemore), “Light It Up” (Major Lazor), “Feel It Still” (Portugal. The Man), “The Greatest” (Sia), “Dog Days Are Over” (Florence). If I hear any of those, I am good to go.!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

RH: Hiking the Rocky Mountains.

EC: The Caribbean or the Bahamas

CV: As of right now, I really want to go to Switzerland!

What would you do if you know you could not fail?

RH: Fix global problems.

EC: Go to the Olympic Trials and try to make the Olympics.

CV: Do gymnastics! I would for sure want to be an amazing gymnast like my sisters Hannah and Eryn!!

What is the best advice ever given to you?

RH: The more you do, the more you get done.

EC: The best advice I’ve ever been given is to believe in myself. Running is as much mentally as it is physically and if you don’t believe in yourself, it is hard to get the results you are looking for.

CV: Just do it! At the end of the day, it is just running. Put one foot in front of the other and just do that as fast as you can, bam!

What is you favorite quote?

RH: “Instead of worrying about being successful, do successful work.”

EC: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”- Steve Prefontaine

CV: “Heading to the moon. Not now, but soon.” – Alexi Pappas

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.“- Steve Prefontaine

“Trust the process.”- Danny Veverka

What is your favorite thing about cross-country?

RH: I love the change of scenery in races and in training. Racing a new and unexpected course or discovering new places on long runs with my teammates.

EC: My favorite thing about cross country is how close the team is. I feel like the cross country team, because of the size, has the best relationship compared to the other 2 seasons of running. I also love seeing all the courses, it’s a new challenge each race!

CV: I love running in the woods and just seeing all the awesome and beautiful courses there are!! The 5k is just such a perfect distance as well, perfect amount of a challenge.

What is your favorite course to run? (High School)

RH: Hollis is my favorite course. The hills and back roads are fun to run.  It is exciting to finish a 5k on the track.

EC: Derryfield Park in Manchester. There is always good competition there and it pushes me to go even faster and it is a challenging course.

CV: Gotta love Derryfield!!! Such a superb and challenging course.

What is your favorite race outside of the high school season?

RH: When I was on vacation in Arizona, I did a 5k in Tempe called the “Nun Run”. It was such a fun community event and everyone was very friendly. I had a good race against some talented middle school boy cross-country runners.

EC: I really only do one race outside of the season since I don’t want to peak too early in the season.  I would have to say the “Run for the Honey 5k”. We have used this race as our time trial last year and this year. It happens to be in my hometown of Hancock.

CV: Adirondack Distance Festival Half Marathon!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years????

RH: Getting a masters degree in chemical engineering and being involved with some world changing research. Maybe even preparing for a redshirt senior year in cross country.

EC: I’m honestly not sure where I see myself in 5 years. A lot can happen in that time and I’m just going to take things one day at a time.

CV: God only knows, but hopefully chasing my pursuit of happiness with my absolute amazing cats Kale & Tate in Hawaii being a pediatric nurse!


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