MEMBER: Dylan Gearinger
Name: Dylan Gearinger
Hometown: Berwick, PA
High School: Berwick High
College: Haverford College
Occupation: Neuroscience Ph.D Candidate
USATF Indoor National Qualifier
Division 3 National Champion for 3000 meters
By: Kevin Brandon (07/29/19)
Dylan, thanks for taking time to speak with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in the Philadelphia area and running with PRTC?
I actually went to school right outside the city in Haverford, and once I had wrapped up my collegiate career I realized I had to find a group to run with because I'm really not great at running alone. I knew Alex Predhome from racing him and college and reached out to him and before I knew it, I was running with the team every Tuesday and Sunday.
When did you first become a runner? Did a specific event compel you to take on the sport?
In high school I was a baseball and football player through my sophomore year. At that point I had just suffered another concussion, bringing my total up to 7 or 8, so my doctors, parents, and I decided that football was probably a no-go for the upcoming year. I didn't love the idea of not having a fall sport so I joined the cross country team and almost instantly committed myself fully to running.
Once you began running, how did your career develop? Take us through day one to today.
I spent my high school career and my first year and a half of college being a pretty average runner. Good enough to make conference championship meets but not really doing a whole lot once I got there. At that point I just decided to bring my mileage up near triple digits and see what I could do. The following winter I won my first conference title indoors, before taking another outdoors in the 10k. My junior year I would collect four more wins on the conference level, and my national title. After an injury the next fall, I left my college team and joined the club, giving me a lot of freedom and opportunity to chase some times and tackle some cool races. It's been a great experience.
What is a favorite running accomplishment or moment?
I'd say it has to be the national title. I realize that D3 isn't exactly known for its elite athletes, but it was by far the biggest win of my career. It meant so much more to me too because I was in contention to win the 5000 the day before as well before fading to 10th place over the last kilometer and missing out on even getting an all-american certificate, and beating up my quad in the process. I spent the next 24 hours doing everything I could to even get to the starting line and I had thought I had no chance of doing anything special in that race until I found myself in the lead pack with 600 to go.
How about a not-so-great moment?
Gotta be my showing at USATF indoors. After running the best race of my life to get there, I ended up in the 'slow' heat with Drew Hunter. His teammates ended up taking us out fast so that Drew could go for the win (which he got) and I got absolutely punished for trying to keep up. A true slog for the last kilometer.
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
This year and going forward the goal is really just going to be to make some more national championship appearances. It was a great experience and I really want to get back there.
Preferred pre and post-race meals?
The day of the race I love to eat dry cereal, especially lucky charms or cookie crisp. Weird, I know, but it works for me. Preferred post-race meal has to be the incomparable Hoagie Haven, but I guess that only applies to meets at Princeton.
Can you share with us what you're currently up to professionally?
I just started my first rotation at Thomas Jefferson for my Ph.D. in Neuroscience. More specifically, I work with Neurodegenerative Disease.
What inspired you to pursue this field?
With the average life expectancy getting longer and longer, we are seeing aging and neurodegenerative diseases reach unprecedented rates. And honestly, we don't have a good way of treating most of these diseases. It's just a field with so much opportunity and potential.
Any non-running related hobbies, hidden skills or talents we may enjoy hearing about?
I love to cook but that's definitely more in the hobby category than talent, because I don't actually think I'm very good at it