Senior Feature Files: John and Kevin Walsh
Teammates share a strong bond, second only to the bond between brothers. For the men’s cross-country brother tandem of John and Kevin Walsh, the connection crosses from field to family, for they not only have similar running styles, but they both have developed a deep appreciation for a sport that has given them so much during their time at Seton Hall.
John, a finance and economics double-major, and Kevin, a biology major, approach the sport in similar ways, ignoring their shortcomings and focusing instead on their strengths..
“We both don’t have a lot of speed and the longer distance races take more time to develop,” John said. “We’re distance guys, so we don’t really mess around with the speed,” Kevin added.
The two have been going the distance, eight and ten kilometers to be exact, since eighth grade—when they first started running track back in their hometown of Deltaville, Va.
“We trained together all throughout eighth grade, all throughout high school and we continue to train together to this day at Seton Hall,” Kevin said.
Running became such a part of their lives that the brothers could not stop after high school. The two tried golf for a short time, but according to John, the two had no business in that department.
In the end, it was their s father that kept John and Kevin on track—literally.
“Our dad pushed us to go out for the team back in high school because he was a runner,” John said.
There were other family influences, especially for John.
“I chose my finance major because I always liked math,” he said. “My mom was a math teacher so I shared the same interests with her.”
From the start of their careers at Seton Hall to their senior seasons , the brothers said the greatest influence has been head coach John Moon—who is entering his 42nd year with the team.
“The biggest impact on our family and us when we were making the decision on schools four years ago was Coach Moon,” John said. “He had biggest impact on our mom actually.”
Kevin said he is going to miss Coach Moon’s “laid-back style.”
According to the brothers, Coach Moon’s style has rubbed off on them and the entire team.
“When you think of competitive teams you think of athletes and coaches being uptight,” John explained. “But we win and we’re very loose in the process.”
Individually John and Kevin have both found success on the track. Last season, John placed a season-best 26th at the Delaware Invitational with an 8K time of 31:00:27. 2013 was a bounce-back season for John, whose 2012 campaign was shortened to just two races due to an injury. Kevin’s clocked a time of 28:35 an 8K race at the Big East Championships. He also set a time of 28:15:90 in the five-mile distance at the IC4A Championships, a new personal best.
The brothers understand that this long-distance race they have been on for the past nine years is coming to a close, but the bond the two have shared with their teammates these past four years is something they will take with them once their time at Seton Hall is over.
“I’m going to miss the closeness of the team the most,” Kevin said. “Going on trips with the team is always a lot of fun.”
Besides the finish line, the two have their eyes set on career paths in the near future. John has interned in the human resources department at a Chesapeake Bank back home for the past two summers. He is currently exploring graduate school options where he hopes to attain his MBA.
Kevin, interned as a phlebotomist at a local hospital and took the MCATs this past summer and hopes to attend medical school after graduation.
David Heim can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @davidheim12.