Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Warnick Makes It Official -- Signs Villanova Letter of Intent
Sport U-Turn Proves Successful for Warde Runner
Tom Renner, The Daily Westport
April 4, 2012
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Warde senior Harry Warnick hated running in middle school. Even into his sophomore year in high school, he played soccer. The irony was not lost on the distance running star when he officially signed his letter of intent Wednesday to run for Villanova University.
“I never liked running. I did middle school track, and I ran like once a week,’’ said Warnick, who committed to Villanova last weekend. “I never thought I’d do it as a sport in high school.”
During Warnick’s sophomore year, he made astounding progress at winter and spring track. He ran a 4:51 mile indoors and then dropped an incredible 22 more seconds in the spring. From that point on, soccer was done.
The switch proved to be the right decision. “I’m happy I switched to track,’’ said Warnick, who won the New England championship in the mile run last month and holds nearly Warde record longer than 1,600 meters.
“We thought we’d just build up a base during the indoor season,’’ coach Tim Foster said. “The goal wasn’t to run real fast. Then he ran 4:51, and I didn’t expect him to be at that point yet. We started incorporating more interval work, and he really dropped his times.”
Warnick continued to make strides in cross country, where he finished second to Danbury’s Alex Levine. He has continued to run among the state’s elite distance men. His time of 4:20.22 to win the New England mile race was the second best time indoors this winter among Connecticut runners. He was also ranked among the top three in the state in four other events.
“Since I’ve been coaching, I don’t think there’s a runner that come along as quickly as Harry has,’’ Foster said. “He has an amazing ability to hold pace. He has this natural speed that you just don’t see in very many runners.”
Warnick is jumping into the deep end of the pool at Villanova, which has a rich history of milers and distance runners going back 50 years. “That would be great to have a career like some of those guys,’’ Warnick said when names such as Marty Liquori, Eamon Coghlan and Sydney Maree were suggested. “I’m just going to keep it in the back of my head.”
Villanova coach Marcus O’Sullivan plans to red-shirt Warnick for cross country and indoor track, and then Warnick will run spring track next year for the Wildcats. He’ll see his future teammates when he competes at the Penn Relays in one of his final big meets as a Warde runner later this month.
“I think it’s a great fit for him athletically and academically,’’ Foster said. “I think he’ll do great.”