Athlete of the month: Dillon Coffey

Emily McNicholas, Reporter

Dripping in sweat and breathing heavily, Dillon Coffey rounds the sharp hill crest and sprints past the Dulaney runner.

Since freshman year, Coffey has contributed to the varsity cross country team and stands out as a top performer.  He has worked his way to being team captain for his senior year and plans to finish the season out strong.

“Dillon works harder than any other guy on the team, which enables him to maximize his talents,” Coach John Roemer said. “With his work ethic, he’s an excellent role model for the underclassmen.”

The cross country team runs in meets that are 3.1 miles or 5 kilometers.  Coffey’s personal record is 16 minutes and 44 seconds, which he accomplished in his previous cross country season.

“Counties and Invitationals are normally my best races,” Coffey (’18) said. “We run a lot in practice to prepare for our races.”
Practices consists of vigorous workouts and trail runs on the many trails we have through the woods at Hereford.

“Dillon, Jake, and I lead the warmups in the beginning. From there we split up into groups based on talent to work out,” fellow team captain, Dietrich Sweeney (’18) said.

Coffey credits his sister and former cross country teammate, Sarah Coffey (’16), for aiding him throughout his running experience.

“I learned that I can be good at something as long as I try hard,” Coffey said.

Roemer also believes that Coffey has become the runner he is today from the leadership of his sister, Sarah.

“He watched how his sister developed into one of the top runners in Maryland and realized that he also probably had the physical capacity to do really well,” Roemer said.

Coffey may look up to his sister as a leader, but teammates are always learning from Coffey whether it’s at a meet or during practice, and they think of him as “not only a great runner but a motivational leader,” Will Reider said.

“We’ve learned from Dillon,” teammate Emily Francis (’19) said.  “Specifically that hard work pays off, and that having a drive is a huge part of being successful in a sport.”

Sweeney said Coffey is always ahead of everyone “by a long shot” during work outs or trail runs.  He also thinks [Coffey] motivates himself to do better.

“I was there when he got his best time.” Sweeney (’18) said. “I didn’t get to celebrate with him because, of course, I was a minute behind.”

Coffey is a team player and loves being with his cross country friends.

“Our whole team meets at Noodles and Company and we always acquire forks from there,” Coffey said. “Then we go to Wegmans to make amazing root beer floats.”

Coffey says that he’s not sure about being a part of a college team, but will continue to run on his own trails.