While many may dread the mandatory mile run in gym class, Eli Wasserman ’19 has always loved the rush of adrenaline that comes from running long distances. “Since third grade, I always loved to run. Whenever we did the mile or half mile in gym class, I always tried to go as hard as I can because I thought that was so cool,” Wasserman said. “[Since] elementary school, I have always loved to go fast, and running was the way to do it.”
The most inspiring figure for Wasserman is his father. In kindergarten, Wasserman watched his father go for a run everyday. “I would always run the first 50 meters with him … He was really inspiring for me because I was like, ‘Oh when I grow up … I want to be as fast as my dad,’” Wasserman said. “That was my main goal through elementary and middle school … and now that I’m actually [running] with the [PHS track] team … I’m faster than him.”
Wasserman currently runs the 1600-meter and 3200-meter distance events. At the PHS Championship Warmup and Tigers Elite Qualifier, he reached his personal record for the 1600-meter of 5 minutes 3 seconds, and 10 minutes 43 seconds for the 3200-meter. According to nj.milesplit.com, he is ranked 22nd in the 3200-meter, out of all New Jersey boys freshman track runners.
For Wasserman, both individual reliance and the familial qualities of track are why he loves the sport. While times and personal records might be personal, the training promotes a sense of community. “One aspect I really enjoy is when you’re all running on a big run together and you hear everyone’s watch beep at the same time, marking either the mile or a time,” Wasserman said. “It really shows that you’re one big community growing together.”
Additionally, Wasserman contributes his own positivity, energy, and dedication to the community of runners. “He has got a lot of energy and he is a fun guy and shows up to practice everyday,” said Will Hare ’18, who trains with Wasserman. “That’s very admirable considering the only way to get better in this type of sport is [by] pushing yourself.”
In combination with his hard work, Wasserman has set long term goals to qualify and perform well at the Meet of Champions and the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in his junior or senior year.