Cross Country Athlete Becomes Successful a Long Ways From Home
From the icy, cold climate of Montana to the warm, sunny beaches of Southern California, Leonard Mccomas became a highlight on Santa Monica College's (SMC) Cross Country team. Mccomas won the Western State Conference Runner of the Year, an award given after the state meet where coaches of the Western State Conference choose a winner. His entitlement came after holding a consistent 2018 winning record of races.
Bozeman, Montana was home to Mccomas where he began running in seventh grade and continued throughout high school. He attended Bozeman High School where his team won state titles. During his senior year, he won a Nike National Title.
After being denied from his desired universities, Mccomas was unsure of what to do with his future. He arrived in California with the plan to take a year off of school but changed his mind and enrolled at SMC.
Upon arriving at SMC, Mccomas began researching the sports that were offered. "Since running was something I always did in high school it made sense to do it in college," said Mccomas.
After discovering the cross country team, Mccommas contacted head coach Eric Barron. Recalling their conversation, Mccomas said, "Okay, yeah this is something I definitely want to continue here."
Coach Barron is recognized as 2017 Western State Conference Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. “Coach Barron is amazing, he is one of the most knowledgeable coaches I've met and you notice he enjoys working with the team,” said Mccomas.
Weather conditions were a positive adjustment to his drill. Growing up in Bozeman, Montana he was used to training in the cold weather and had no difficulties adjusting to the warm Santa Monica climate.
"It's cold in Montana. I don't like the cold," said Mccomas. “Racing in the warm weather is nice, because you can get into a good training cycle in the off-season, and not have to worry about slipping on ice or jumping on the treadmill during the winter months.”
He hopes to continue his running career at Pomona College after graduating at SMC. He is studying economics and plans to transfer, with the intention of eventually obtaining a graduate degree and becoming a college professor.
“Running is a sport that shows the amount of effort you put into it. Being a part of a running team is unique because you improve on your personal times with the aspect of being a part of a team,” said Mccomas.
The typical training regimen for him consists of Monday and Wednesday being high intensity workouts, Tuesday and Thursday being recovery days. Most of his weekends from now until mid-May consist of scheduled track meets. With track season midway through, Mccomas looks forward to improving his personal running times and having a successful 2019 season.