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First-year runner leads young cross country squad

First-year+student+runner+Trevor+Dix+placed+second+during+the+Ithaca+College+cross+country+programs+annual+Jannette+Bonrouhi-Zakaim+Memorial+Alumni+Run.+He+clocked+a+5k+time+of+17%3A01.92%2C+trailing+only+behind+senior+Patrick+Bierach.
Jadyn Davis
First-year student runner Trevor Dix placed second during the Ithaca College cross country program’s annual Jannette Bonrouhi-Zakaim Memorial Alumni Run. He clocked a 5k time of 17:01.92, trailing only behind senior Patrick Bierach.

After losing five seniors from the 2022 men’s cross-country season, Bomber’s head coach Jim Nichols prepared for the dynamic adjustment and recruited athletes that showed promise. Just as Nichols predicted, he was able to find the runners that would lead his young team to victories. 

Trevor Dix is a first-year student who quickly proved he would be a key component to the team’s success. At his first collegiate race in Brockport Sept. 9, Dix finished ninth overall and helped his team secure second place out of the five competing schools. At the YellowJacket Invitational at the University of Rochester on Sept. 16, Dix was the first of his team to cross the line, finishing 49th out of 250 competitors. 

Dix is a business administration major who grew up in Portland, Oregon. Oregon is known as the running capital of the U.S., so running has always been a big part of Dix’s life. Dix was originally a member of his high school soccer and cross country teams, but soon enough, Lincoln High School cross country coach Eric Dettman convinced Dix to focus mainly on his running. 

“When [Dix] transitioned from being a soccer and cross country kid to focusing just on cross country, that’s when his race times really started to improve,” Dettman said.

Dix’s rapid improvements made him a major contributor to his high school’s impressive performances. During his senior year, he helped his team achieve second place in cross-country and first place in outdoor track and field at the OSAA 6A State Championship meets. Their school was one of 51 competing at these meets. 

“The thing that I remember and appreciate the most about Trevor [Dix] was his commitment to his team,” Dettman said. “He was always the first guy out [for practice] as a JV kid and did everything he could to help his team be as successful as possible.”

Dix said that his parents were a crucial factor in his career path to Ithaca and that a high school friend opened up his horizons in the sport.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without my parent’s support,” Dix said. “Henry [Alexander] joining cross country and improving so much in his first year really opened my eyes to how the sky’s the limit.” 

Dix had always imagined he’d retire from the sport after high school and settle at a college close to home. Dettman said he could not stand by and let Dix say goodbye to the sport.

“I told [Dix] that I’d love to see him compete in college,” Dettman said. “He’s been doing such a good job and is an amazing teammate. Soon enough he was like, ‘Yeah, I need to keep running.’”

Dix realized his coach was right; he was not ready to hang up his spikes. He said he knew he was taking a huge risk in choosing a school across the country, but he felt he could not pass up the opportunity that was before him. 

“At the time, I’d never been to the East Coast and I wanted to explore the area anyways,” Dix said. “So I visited a small handful of Division lll schools with the interest of running. When I arrived at IC, something just felt right.”

Nichols said he felt confident that Dix would quickly adjust to the new team and environment after his first visit to Ithaca. 

“He came in for a visit and enjoyed it,” Nichols said. “He met some guys on the team and felt very comfortable with them. He made the decision soon after that he’d be coming to stay from Oregon.”

The younger team dynamic was something that Dix said really excited him when he arrived. He said he was impressed by the work ethic of his new teammates and the leadership of the team’s sole senior, Patrick Bierach. He said he sees the potential within himself and his teammates and feels confident that they can compete with some of the bigger schools in the region. 

“We’re going to find a lot of success in the coming years as we continue to improve and don’t lose too many men from the roster,” Dix said. 

Nichols shares Dix’s optimism and said his biggest goal, for any of his athletes, is to simply watch them improve. 

Although thrilled by Dix’s early talent, Nichols said he knows he must train Dix so he can continue to improve through his collegiate career. Nichols said his only goal for Dix was to watch his personal records continue to drop. 

“Our goal this year is to peak at the end of the season and continue to do workouts that will ensure we’re getting stronger each day,” Nichols said. “Our first-year athletes have been running a lot compared to the mileage they ran in high school, so it’s smart for us to back off a few of them, including Trevor, so that we don’t burn them out.”

Because of Dix’s early success, Dix said he feels the urgency to run his best, but despite that, he knows what the team is doing with a slow build up of work will be beneficial in the long run.

“It definitely puts a lot of pressure on me to perform well because I’ll be scoring points,” Dix said. “I’m confident that the training we are doing will pay off for everybody.”  

Dix has realized his contributions and said that he has even brighter hopes for the future and that his confidence for the rest of the team is sky-high heading into future seasons. 

“On an individual basis, I am hoping to take down some records by senior year. As a team, I think we will have a great shot [even] with how young we are,” Dix said. “I just want us to be the best we can possibly be.”

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Jadyn Davis, Senior writer
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    PatOct 5, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Let’s go Trevor!

    Reply