Bison Of The Week:
Sophomore Aaron Harrison of Track & Field
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 22:02
The Howard women and men's track and field team will travel to Landover, Md. on Feb. 16 to compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic conference championship. After qualifying in the 5000-meter run and the 3000-meter run in previous meets, sophomore-captain Aaron Harrison, a biology major, is ready to compete at the conference level.
Harrison, the Chesapeake, Va. native, had an improved time of 15:44 in the 5k meter run at the Vince-Brown Invitational, which took place on Feb. 4. A week later, Harrison decided to run the 3k race. There he timed in at 8:57 during the Milrose Games Collegiate Invitational.
"I feel it is an honor. I am blessed to have this ability to be able to run because everything comes with a price," Harrison said. "I do not ever take things for granted. I know I always have to work for what I have, it is not just going to come to me."
Wesley Stephens, who double-majors in Spanish and public relations, is Harrison's sophomore teammate. Stephens appreciates Harrison for being captain of the team.
"Aaron does a great job because he does anything for the team," Stephens said. "Aaron is the first to get us water when we are tired, first to cheer for us during our events and first to call when we are not at practice. He is an all-around great captain."
As captain, Harrison understands his leadership role on the team.
http://a1.twimg.com/profile_images/1255978584/runnin.jpg "I have to stay level-headed and continue to stay positive in all situations," he said. "I have to inspire my teammates to be better than what they are and to want to come to practice to work."
This year, Harrison's goal is to become top five in the 3k and 5k; both indoor and outdoor. He also wants to qualify in the NCAA Regional's for indoor.
"If I can qualify for regionals, I then will get to nationals," he said.
In his first year at Howard, Harrison was the only freshman to go to MEAC in indoor and outdoor cross country. He had continue success in his other meets placing ninth in the 8k recording a time of 24:54 and placed eighth in the indoor 5k clocking in at 15:50. In addition to those events, Harrison ran the outdoor 5k and finished with a time of 15:37.
Harrison first began competing on the track during his middle school years.
"I began to run the mile and the 800 after my coach figured out that I can run, " he said.
In 2006, Harrison, a freshman at Deep Creek High School, joined the track team and began working on improving his speed and endurance. Harrison ran the 4x8 to work on his speed. After trials at different events, Harrison broke the five-minute mile time to 4:56 his freshman year.
"I was motivated by my family and myself because I knew my family was behind me," Harrison said. "They will always be there supporting me even if they can't come to all my races."
Eleven-time medalist in World Championships and USA Olympian, Bernard Lagat is one of Harrison's biggest role models.
"He inspires me because I want to be to on his level one day," Harrison said. "[Lagat] holds a lot of the American records in distance."
But Harrison's all-time favorite runner is Ethiopian Olympian, Hebrew Gay Salacuse.