Lane's Elias Gedyon named 2012 Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year
By John William Howard for NWAACC.org
For Elias Gedyon, cross country and track athlete at Lane Community College, the move from home to college life was a big jump. Seeing as the move was from downtown Los Angeles, it's easy to imagine how different it would be transitioning to Eugene, Ore., whose damp, but picturesque hills and oak forests paint a much different picture than the sun, concrete and high rises of southern California. Scene didn't seem to make much difference, as Gedyon did what he set out for, winning the NWAACC men's cross country championship. For his efforts individually, and his part in a second place finish for Lane, Gedyon was named the 2012 Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
This, however, isn't the largest stage that Gedyon has been on. A star in high school, Gedyon was twice selected to compete as part of the USA team at the World Junior Track and Field Championships. Gedyon also finished second in the Nike Cross Nationals in 2009, and second in the 1500 meter run at the 2011 Nike Track Nationals, where he helped his team to win the men's national title.
"He's very, very talented. He's an untapped talent," said Mike Blackmore, first-year cross country coach at Lane. "Mentally, he wants to be really good. He wants to move on to the next level, and like every other kid, he wants to be on an Olympic team."
Blackmore said that while Gedyon hasn't talked specifically about the Olympics, he has mentioned a desire to qualify for the US Championships, and according to Blackmore, both the qualifying for and making the Olympic team are something that Gedyon is capable of achieving somewhere down the line.
Gedyon will remain at Lane for one more season before a potential transfer to Oregon, but Blackmore said that he seems to already be friends with several of the athletes from the Oregon team.
"He seems to really like it here," said Blackmore, who has heard Gedyon talk of the trails and the open space.
This spring, Gedyon will be redshirting for the track season in preparation for the fall, and to save three seasons of competition for the next level. Even though his future is somewhat set, Blackmore says that Gedyon's focus still seems to be on the here and now.
"I think, in his mind, whatever the competition is, he's here to do his best," said Blackmore. "If that means winning the 1500 by a tenth of a second, or winning the cross country championship by the eight seconds he won it by, he's here to take care of business."