Josh Gosselin reflects upon his first cross country season

Written By Antonio Rossetti, Co-Sports Editor

Wales, Maine is pretty far away from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but a motivated Josh Gosselin, a freshman cross country runner, made the trek to the steel city in the summer.

Gosselin developed a love for the sport during his time at Oak Hills High School. He wanted to run in college and was fascinated with animation and Point Park offered that major. He made the move but was overwhelmed by the city atmosphere at first.

“It felt like a pop-up book,” Gosselin said. “I came in here, and I was looking at all the big buildings and I started to get a little bit dizzy just looking at that. It took me a few weeks just to get used to it, but I really love it. The sheer amount of opportunities here is just really cool.”

Gosselin eventually settled into the city. His next step was his first meet and he took no time to make an impact for the team, finishing within the Pioneers’ top 4 at the St. Vincent Invitational.

Although Gosselin made an immediate impact, the college and high school levels have some differences, especially with the distance going from 5k to running 8ks.

“Everybody’s very strategic about what they’re doing,” Gosselin said “Some people will start out at a much slower pace and pick it up and some people will start out at the right pace right out of the gate because they just know what they can run and what they’re supposed to and hit their mark every time. Those are the people I stick with at that very steady pace, so that way I can learn that pace with them. That way people can learn to rely on me sometimes.”

Gosselin used strategy and hard work throughout the season and continued to make strides in his cross country career. He had a personal record (PR) at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational, posting a 27:29.3 time. His finish was 3rd for the team.

In his first season, Gosselin ran the 8k in under 28 minutes on 3 occasions, including the Lock Haven Invitational and the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge.

“It’s been a dream come true for three years now to actually be here and to be able to perform with these guys, not just being able to run with them in practice, but to be able to run with them in a race and keep that pace,” Gosselin said. “It”s amazing to me and it’s beyond what I thought I would be able to do.”

Gosselin also loves the competitiveness of the team. Every meet, there is someone new achieving a new PR.

“It’s always been a lot of fun being able to run in a pack of people that are not only my same age, but share that same competitiveness that we want to be better every day, and better than we were the day before.”

Gosselin credits a lot of his success to his teammate, sophomore Elijah James. James recently finished 1st for the team at the River States Conference (RSC) meet.

 “He’s really a very motivated person and he’s helped me out with being able to learn about and just smoothed out the transition between high school and college,” Gosselin said. “He is just a great leader.”

James feels the same way about Gosselin. He likes his dedication to the sport.

“I really like Josh because he’s so determined,” James said. “He has heart. Everyday he is like ‘Eli, I’m going to beat you the next day.’”

Cross country and animation, his major, have their differences, but Gosselin sees comparisons between the two.

“It takes a lot of practice, and it takes a lot of patience to be able to get better at it and to be able to just perform on a daily basis animation,” Gosselin said. “You have to be able to really explore the minute details and really be able to just make that art better, and just really be able to tell a story with everything. You have to take focus on your entire craft.”

Gosselin sees the connection between the two.

“You can do the same thing with running where it’s not a sprint that doesn’t take like 30 seconds or a few minutes,” Gosselin said. “It takes a long time to be able to do it. You got to practice doing it over and over again.”

Cross country is a sport of patience as the results don’t happen overnight. It takes practice and dedication. Gosselin is glad that his family and his father were always there to motivate him.

“My dad always pushed me a lot,” Gosselin said. “He’s always gave me that motivation to keep going forward, keep moving forward, despite whether or not I lost or had a bad race. He’s always there. He’s always looked at me and told me that I could do that.”

Gosselin added that his father always tells him to “climb the ladder.” Gosselin is going one rung at a time and now that the cross country season is over, he now turns his focus to the track and field season.

“I can’t wait to see what Josh does in indoor and outdoor season,” James said.