Long Blazing Speed: Cory Puffett Edition

Stag Excels At Cross Country

 

I know that I mentioned this before but it is worth shining the light on our subject right about now because Cory Puffett has been off to the races. While nobody was watching the DeMatha Stag has strung three wins in a row already. He won the Geraghty held on the campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University on September 6 and beat out a field of 180 other runners. Cory followed that up by winning the Magruder Invitational on September 11 at the Agricultural Farm Park. His, third, and most recent win was in Williamsburg. No wonder nobody saw these victories: they were all in virtually obscure places.

As good as Cory Puffett has been, he hasn’t been able to boost the overall Stag team into contention for team considerations. Despite boasting the overall winner, Cory Puffett, in two events the Stags didn’t even manage to break into the top ten in the first two outings. This is nothing new as Cory also took the individual crown in the WCAC in the last two years while DeMatha came up short in the team championship. Still, Corey Puffett runs with the heart of a champion Stag and despite the challengers no one in the WCAC seems to be able to challenge DeMatha for the individual championship for what could be his third in a row. I expect that Cory Puffett is completely undaunted because he was able to be a part of one unexpected team championship his freshman year, DeMatha’s first in over twenty years. Well there is that and the two individual WCAC championships that he has won along with these three races at the start of the year.

Here’s to keeping the faith that Cory Puffett can add a third individual title in a row and that the cross country team can keep hope alive for another magical run for the Stags.  Don’t just listen to me tell it.  I’m giving it to you straight from DeMatha’s Director of Development.  Peep TP:

Senior Cory Puffett has participated in three cross country races this year and has won all three.  He will race this weekend in Virginia against some other top runners in the area.

Puffett has won the WCAC individual crown in each of the past two years.  His freshman year he placed second just behind DeMatha’s Robert Patterson ’09.  It goes without saying (but yes, we will say it anyway) that Puffett is one of the greatest runners ever at DeMatha.

But Puffett is more than just an athlete.  The lanky 6’2 140 pounder has a 3.9 average, sings in the Voices of DeMatha, and is co-editor of ‘The Stagline,’ to name just a few activities.  He comes from good stock as his mother Louisa teaches and coaches cross country at Seton HS.  His father, Michael, a government IT specialist by day, is an assistant at Seton and his sister, Nicole, a sophomore, is among the top runners in that school’s program.

We caught up with Puffett earlier this week (not an easy thing to do these days) and decided to "run" a few questions by him.  His answers follow:

— When did you take up running?
"My dad was a runner in high school, but he busted his knee in a skiing accident.  About 10 years ago, he had surgery and he had to take long walks for rehab.  My sister and I would walk with him.  My dad’s knee eventually got better and he started jogging and we joined him….I originally wanted to play basketball,  but I started running competitively a few years later when I joined the Glenarden Track Club."

— What brought you to DeMatha?
"I originally was going to go to Wise High school, which is near my house.  However, my dad grew up two doors down from the Moylans in College Park Woods.  So I shadowed at DeMatha and liked it."

— What is your philosophy when you run?
"There was a time when I would get a lead and people would cut me off.  My goal every time now is to get a lead and maintain it.  The way I figure it is that if someone wants to beat me, they are going to have to hurt the entire race."

— What do you think about when you run?
"I try not to think about anything.  I don’t think — I just go all out.  If I die, so be it.  At least I know I will have done my best."

— Is there a lot of pain when you run?
"I ignore it.  Actually, it is after the race when you feel the pain and it usually lasts for about 15 minutes.  Not much longer.  It usually is over before you know it….I push myself, so when you’re running, it is more tenderness or fatigue than pain."

— You have won the individual conference title now in each of the last two years.  What about this year?
"It will definitely be a challenge.  There are at least two very good runners at the other schools.  I expect it to be a very tight competition.  I am confident about my chances, though.  It is mine to lose."

We wish Cory luck, and just like a lot of others this fall, we will be following him.

God Bless.

TP

I couldn’t have said it better myself, but you can see why I had to anyway.

Go Stags!

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