Callahan Lennon is back on track
Just over a year ago, Callahan Lennon ’17 was building quite a running resume for himself, winning the 2015 PIAA District 1 cross-country title and then medaling at states.
Colleges were beginning to take notice, and all Lennon, a junior at that time, had to do was drop his mile time into the 4:20s during the Holy Ghost 2016 indoor and outdoor track seasons to intensify that interest.
But then a foot injury got in the way. At first, Lennon tried to muscle through, thinking it was something minor and focusing on his goal of impressing college track coaches rather than the pain in his left foot.
“I thought that I could fight through it,” says Lennon. “But then my times weren’t good. And my mom saw me limping around constantly, so we decided to get it checked out.”
Lennon was diagnosed with a broken bone on the top of his left foot, costing him the chance to turn college coaches’ heads even further as a junior. But he followed his doctor’s advice and was eventually able to trade in his walking boot for running shoes.
Healthy again, Lennon trained religiously in the summer before his senior year—lifting one day, running the next. The regimen paid off, as Lennon was back to his old dominant self again this past fall, winning the 2016 District 1 Class AA individual cross-country title and once again medaling at states. In addition to Lennon’s individual success, the senior-laden Firebirds cross-country squad won its 21st consecutive Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) crown and captured the PIAA District 1 Class AA team title before finishing seventh at states in the team competition.
“It was a great cross-country season, and it was extra special because of the team success that I had with a bunch of my friends who I’ve been running with since our freshman year,” said Lennon.
Now Lennon is right back where he was at the time of his injury, trying to shave enough time off his one-mile and 3,000-meter times to impress college coaches. Lennon wants to attend a school near a major U.S. city—his current wish list includes Fordham (where ex-HGP teammates Patrick Dineen ’15 and Patrick Donahue ’16 currently run), Boston College, Temple, and UCLA (which he fell in love with during a California family vacation this past summer).
No matter which school he chooses, Holy Ghost Prep coach Mike Meistering believes that Lennon possesses the traits necessary to succeed as a collegiate runner.
“Cal loves the sport and has been blessed with a determination to succeed, an amazing competitiveness, and some natural gifts,” says Meistering.
A self-professed fan of the NCIS and Criminal Minds TV shows, Lennon plans to major in psychology and minor in criminal justice in hopes of becoming a real-life criminal investigator someday. “I take AP psychology at Holy Ghost Prep, and I find it really interesting,” says Lennon, a painter/artist who is also a member of Holy Ghost’s National Art Honor Society. “I think it’ll be a fascinating career path to pursue.”