|Sacred Heart senior Jonny Warren, right, runs around the perimeter of the Jimmy Lee Stadium|
track during Tuesday's meet against St. Paul and Crosby. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
That name is Jonny Warren, and he is the leader of a strong Hearts corp of distance runners. Warren's name isn't bantered about as much as others such as E.J. Williams and Mechai Hayes, but Warren is OK with that. In fact, he embraces the role of underdog.
"It's not like everyone's worrying about me," Warren, a senior, said during Tuesday's meet against St. Paul and Crosby at Jimmy Lee Stadium. "I just get to go out there and surprise them."
|Warren runs down the final stretch of the 1600 meters|
during Tuesday's meet. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)
Warren received strong praise from head coach Tom Festa.
"The hardest worker I've ever had," Festa said. "I hope this distance team takes his lead. We should be very good for years to come."
As for SCSU, it was close to Warren's hometown of Naugatuck and the Owl runners share a commitment to running and working hard to get even faster.
"For me, it was a perfect blend," Warren said.
Warren said he saw SCSU runners like him going much faster than they had in high school.
"Obviously, it's working for them," Warren said, adding that he would love to get faster.
Warren said running is more methodically taught at SCSU, and it goes into greater detail. It's not surprising Warren likes that, given he gravitates more toward the tactical approach that distance running provides.
Warren's specialties are the mile and two-mile races (1600 and 3200 meters). During Warren's sophomore year, he knew he had a chance to compete at the next level.
"I started to take it a lot more seriously," Warren said.
For distance runners, training is emphasized more. Warren could be seen running around the Jimmy Lee Stadium facility after his win in the 1600. Warren also won the 3200, and he was part of the winning 4x800-meter relay team.
"I do a lot of high-mileage stuff," Warren said.
Warren focuses more on aerobic strength in his training.
As for the classroom, Warren is unsure of a major, though Exercise Science sounds interesting. Warren talked about studying a human's limits and how Nike was trying to get someone who could run a marathon in less than two hours.
Warren's focus on a high school track is on being ready for the big meets at the end of the season: NVLs, the Class S championship, and the State Open.