Ready to Rock and run

Warren’s Nate Eadie to continue cross country career at SRU

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Warren senior cross country runner Nate Eadie signs his National Letter of Intent to continue his career at Slippery Rock University, while his mother, Kay, looks on during a signing day event at Warren Area High School, Nov. 14, 2018. Eadie, a former state qualifier and region all-star as a senior, plans to major in business with a minor in biology, then attend dental school following his undergrad work at SRU.

In life, its often the small or seemingly inconsequential decisions that shape who we are.

For Warren senior Nate Eadie, one of those moments happened in junior high.

“I was in seventh grade,” he said. “I was playing football and didn’t like it anymore. I went out for cross country the next year in the fall and everything took off from there.”

Took off indeed.

The Beaty Dragons won their district for the first time during Eadie’s initial cross country campaign. Eadie qualified for the state meet as a freshman, finishing 19th at the District 10 meet in Sharon. He narrowly missed out on a return trip the following year, when he finished 20th. He was just outside the top 25 at districts this season.

The training regimen proved tougher than expected, but so did the competition.

“(Cross country) is a little more aggressive than people think,” Eadie said. “Off the start, you’re pushing and shoving trying to get the best spot. Training-wise, it’s pretty challenging. Kevin (Dustin, Warren’s coach) is always hard on us . . . for good reason. There’s always a purpose to his workouts and he always tells us to run with a purpose.”

He had a strong senior season for the Dragons. He opened the year with a top-25 finish at McDowell and was typically one of Warren’s top finishers in tri-meet action. Eadie had another top-25 finish at Sharpsville, then came back to win at the Cuba Invitational. All this success earned him Region 4 first-team all-star honors.

“Sharpsville every year (is one of my favorite courses),” Eadie said. “There’s just something about the course and environment there. It’s either really hot and muggy, or it’s pouring down rain in the 40s and muddy as heck.”

Eadie prefers a more arid climate to run.

“When that course is dry, you can really get moving,” he said. “This past district (meet) was brutal. Mud, I’m not kidding, so deep you’d sink up to your shins and you couldn’t go anywhere. And we (3A boys) were the last race of the day.”

While it’s not uncommon for a runner to prefer and hard, dry surface for the course, Eadie does have a preference many don’t. He’s never met an uphill he didn’t like.

“Hills are my advantage,” Eadie said. “My dad always told me from a young age to use them to my advantage. Everybody hates hills, but if you get good at them, you’ll blow past everybody.”

Of course, what goes up, must come down.

“Downhills are my weakness,” he added. “After a downhill I drop my pace and get really messed up from it.”

Randy, Nate’s dad, used his experience as a cross country runner and bicycle road racer to help Nate find his strengths.

“He was always known as the ‘hill guy’,” Nate said. “He kind of got me started (running). I didn’t know what to expect (when I switched sports), we both didn’t going into it. But he was really supportive.”

As Eadie, who also runs track in the spring, prepares for his final season as a Dragon, he’s got a long future path already laid out before him. He’ll be joining the Slippery Rock University cross country team in the fall.

Running for the Rockets became Eadie’s goal the second he stepped on campus for a running camp as a junior. The pull was so strong, it literally became Slippery Rock or bust.

“I only applied to Slippery Rock,” he chuckled. “My junior year I went to a camp with Troy Shattuck and as soon as we pulled on the campus I liked it. It had that feel of, ‘I’m home.’ We met the coach, ran all the workouts with the team and I just loved it.”

Once there, Eadie intends to major in business with minors in biology. All with the intent of going to dental school after undergrad.

In the meantime, he’s looking forward to getting back to campus and joining his Rocket teammates on the course.

“I’m most looking forward to cross country, 100 percent,” he said.