Brad Eagan embraces final run with cross country

Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.+%0ABrad+Eagan+competes+in+the+Phoenix+Open%2C+his+first+cross+country+meet+since+2017.+
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Brad Eagan embraces final run with cross country

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics. 
Brad Eagan competes in the Phoenix Open, his first cross country meet since 2017.

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics. Brad Eagan competes in the Phoenix Open, his first cross country meet since 2017.

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics. Brad Eagan competes in the Phoenix Open, his first cross country meet since 2017.

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics. Brad Eagan competes in the Phoenix Open, his first cross country meet since 2017.

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Brad Eagan has seen plenty of leadership from upperclassmen his first three years at Marquette. Now, as the cross country team goes through a transition season, he’s looking to replicate that himself.

“I’ve tried to emulate the tremendous leadership I’ve experienced throughout my career,” Eagan said. “I want to take the success I’ve had under those mentors and apply it to the needs we have as a team this season.”

He started out on a strong note, winning the first race of the season last weekend in Green Bay.

Eagan, a senior from Cincinnati, is entering his last semester of eligibility, and he said he wants to make the most out of this opportunity.

“I want to push myself farther than I ever have in cross country,” Eagan said. “I believe in myself, and I believe in this team.”

Part of Eagan’s confidence came from his training this summer, which he spent in Baltimore, Maryland, doing an internship and training on his own. Eagan said his best seasons have come after long periods of training on his own.

“Training by myself has helped me develop my mental fortitude,” Eagan said. “I looked more into the science behind training and created a strategic approach that worked for me.”

Interim head coach Sean Birren said he thinks Eagan has made very sound decisions in his training, and he admires the way Eagan knows his body and what is good for him.

Eagan said he’s built a relationship with Birren over the last few years and is happy to work with him now that he’s interim head coach.

Birren began his new duties Aug. 14.

“He is very intelligent and well versed in the science behind the sport,” Eagan said. “He has helped this be the smoothest transition it could be given the situation.”

Eagan’s coach and teammates have noticed his initiative as a leader in particular.

“Brad has taken the initiative of talking with coaches and staff about the team and training philosophy,” senior teammate Ryan Burd said. “He also leads by example with his work ethic. Guys look up to him and go to him when they need it.”

Burd saw Eagan’s improvement after he sat out from competition last season.

“On the track, Eagan has taken quite the leap throughout his career, and the team knew he’s been one of their top runners this year, but now he is performing above those expectations after redshirting last season,” Burd said.

Burd added Eagan is poised to play a big part in one of the team’s goals this season: break the record of all-conference honors in a season, which is two.

In terms of personal goals, Eagan said he wants to push himself to change the type of cross country runner he is.

“I want to take a longer mileage approach,” Eagan said. “I want to get out with the leaders and not try to just kick it up at the end.”

Eagan said he’d like to finish in the top 50 of the region and simply have the best season he has ever had.

“This is Brad and I’s last time competing. We want to see it through and and go out with a bang,” Burd said. “We have been developing over the last four years, and this season will be a culmination of using what we’ve learned and experienced to make it the best year possible.”

Birren said it will be very fun to see Eagan’s final performances this season, and he wishes this wasn’t his last.

“We have a good relationship, and good results are going to come for him,” Birren said. “I’m excited to see where he’s going in the future, but I wish he was a freshman or sophomore so I had more time to work with him.”

Eagan said he wants to enjoy every moment he has left with the team and hopes the culture he’s experienced over his time as a Marquette cross country runner continues to thrive for years to come.

“It’s been a wild ride. I never thought I would fall in love with a program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, like I have with this one,” Eagan said. “This program has been a home away from home for me, and I am extremely thankful for my time here.”

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