Thursday, December 8, 2011

Five Minutes With ... Kevin McCarthy

Wabash senior Cross Country and Track & Field runner Kevin McCarthy
Name:    Kevin McCarthy

Hometown/High School:     Zionsville, IN/Zionsville

Institution:    Wabash College

Major:    Biology

Minors:    Spanish & Chemistry

Sports: Cross Country & Track and Field

I am originally from ... Indianapolis

Why did you choose to attend a NCAA Division III institution? My decisions on choosing a college were based first upon academic reputation and rigor in preparing myself for medical school. Wabash fit all those requirements; the small school feel was what I wanted, with close faculty attention. Running has been an added bonus.

How would you describe the philosophy of NCAA Div. III? Athletics are part of the great balancing act that we as students juggle, and in Div III, the men and women who perform in these sports, despite being only participatory, at such a high level are motivated purely by the desire and the love of the game. Div III is athletics in perspective; it is the division of opportunity for one and all. In my mind, this makes it the best division because its focus is where it should be for most of us – as a supplement for our maturation and education.

How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at Wabash? I have rarely have problems balancing athletics and academics at Wabash. All classes are done by 4. Practice starts at 4:20, so right off the bat, there are reduced scheduling conflicts. If anything, athletics have kept me on the ball with my academics, because I am forced to have solid time management to succeed at both. Which I feel I have done decently.

How would you best describe your normal day as a student-athlete at the NCAA Div. III level? I.e. What do you do all day? Wake up early (6:30ish) to workout a little, have breakfast, then travel through a busy schedule of meetings (academic and non-academic; because at a small school, the opportunities for extra-curricular involvement and leadership are immense), classes, lunch and time to study. I am Head Resident Assistant, so I usually check my dormitory and my residents. I usually take a brief nap before practice. Head over to practice at about 4. Practice from 4:20 to usually 6:30 or so. Have dinner, and then from the time I finish dinner to the time I go to bed, which is around 11:30 or so, I will be studying or doing homework, with the occasional other few meetings.

Favorite thing about Wabash? The fact that Wabash is all-male. Its unique, it fosters a different culture here than any other school I have visited, and allows us to tailoring specifically to the maturation of average boys into exceptional young men. That I feel this college performs very well. 

Favorite thing about the NCAC? That Depauw joined this past year. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the strength of this conference grow in distance running over the past couple years, especially up top. Adding Depauw, the enemies from the South, as much as I like competing against them, have added good competition to the mix.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I plan on becoming a doctor in primary medicine, working both abroad and in rural America.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why? Paul Farmer. He is an incredible doctor and founder of Partners in Health who is leading the charge in global health in many countries, including Haiti. I would like to see what the man thinks, what he does, his work saving the world.

People may be surprised to know that ... I would rather be farming right now.

If you are stranded on an island, you would like to be with … Les Stroud – survivalist and star in the show Survivorman.

What is the life of a student-athlete studying Biology like at Wabash? It’s a lot of work studying biology/pre-medicine and running at a high level. But so far, everything has been totally worth it.

What aspect of being a student-athlete at the Div. III level, do you hope to take with you into your professional life? The confidence that it has given me and maturation it has fostered in life.

What has been your most memorable moment in athletics during your collegiate career? Just recently, finally getting my XC All-American, 6th in the nation in DIII, just like my coach 15 years ago.

What would you like to accomplish, both in academics and athletics, before you graduate? In academics – pass my comprehensive exams and be home clear for medical school. In athletics – to be a national champ.

What’s currently playing on your I-Pod? I’m old school – I have an MP3

Do you have one coach and/or professor that has impacted your career the most at Wabash? Coach Roger Busch. The man has invested a lot in me and my future. I am forever indebted to him. 

What is your most prized possession? My family

In your opinion, what is the most important life lesson you learned while competing at the NCAA Div. III level? The limits of the human body are dictated by the limits placed in the mind. The body will follow wherever the mind goes.

How many hours a week do you spend on Facebook? One hour. Tops. Don’t waste your time, America.

What would be your advice for someone that is considering enrolling as a student-athlete at a NCAA Div. III institution? Do it. And make sure that you stick it out in athletics. Find a good institution first, and make sure there is a program there that has a good track record for making students successful in athletics as well.

If you could be NCAC Commissioner for a day, what's the first thing you'd do? Petition for the 3000 meter race for Indoor Nationals. I think it is a huge jump for distance runners to compete in only 2 distance events indoors: the 1600m and the 5k. It does a disservice for many distance runners.

If you could excel at any competitive sport (other than your own) which would you choose?

What's the most impressive meal you've ever cooked? HaHa! I wish I could cook. I make good fried eggs.

If you were the president of NCAA Division III for a day, what's the first thing you'd do? Make sure that DIII Track standards stay time based – i.e. not heed to proposal to take only the top 16 individuals in each event and removing Auto and Provo marks. By removing the goal of auto-mark not only is there a loss of a focused goal for the athletes, but it places more stress on the athletes and coaches approaching championship season because one does not know whether the athlete will qualify until the Sunday before the championship. It does not reward fast times early, and will force athletes to compete the week before the meet, fighting for a fast times, when that can all be avoided by keeping the current system. If something isn’t broken – don’t fix it.

No comments: