Michael Chipi: Cross-Country Runner Has Become One of MAAC’s Best
Michael Chipi was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s cross-country runner of the week on Sept. 13, after finishing first at the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitation with a time of 25:33.1.
Chipi stated that he was both hyped and humbled to see that his hard work is paying off. He said it was a good positive reinforcement, and that it let him know that his coaches and him are doing the right things.
He cannot emphasize enough how much the coaches have helped him prepare for this year. His coaches Brother Colm O’Connell and Ian Kiprono at St. Patrick’s High School in Iten, Kenya made sure that he got his basics down in the summer. The support from the Mount came in the form of coaches Josh Poole and Jay Phillips. They assured that he properly tracked his mileage and did weight training.
The race that won him the MAAC runner of the week award was particularly annoying, according to Chipi. He attributed this to the mental challenge of leading a race for its entirety. The way he was able to push himself in that race was by staying relaxed and focusing on what he was doing. “If a runner loses focus for even 30 seconds in an 8K race, then they could fall out of the top ten from first place,” Chippi stated.
When asked what Chipi’s goals are for the rest of the season, he said that he considers goals as layers of a system. This means that everything builds on top of each other, and what he strives for is attainable in his mind and in the minds of his coaches.
For Chipi, aiming for the achievable is crucial. “If my goals are in line with what I can control, like giving my best effort on that day despite who shows up or what the weather like, all that good stuff that you can’t really control, then I think I’ll be pretty satisfied with the overall outcome knowing that I’d have given it my best,” he added.
Team goals for Chipi are making sure that everyone contributes. He clarified that this does not just mean winning races but, instead, he expressed that it is about showing improvement from the beginning of the season till the end.
Something that Chipi learned from Coach Jay is that “showing up to practice every day and giving it your best.” This is something he tries to do for himself and hopes to encourage others to on the team.