"My roommate and I started the cross-country team as freshmen," Weselcouch said.,For most college freshmen, making the varsity team of your favorite sport is a daunting task. But that's just what John Weselcouch did, and then some: he literally made the team.
"My roommate and I started the cross-country team as freshmen," Weselcouch said. "My first year, there were only six guys on the team. We were just sort of a motley crew."
Three years later, that crew has evolved into a competitive varsity program, thanks in large part to senior Co-Captains Weselcouch and Nate Larkin-Connolly, as well as coach Jim Furey. Furey, who had previously been the women's coach, took over the men's team as well for its inaugural 2003 season.
"Mondays, I have a huge, packed class schedule from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., so the only time I can get a run in is at 10 o'clock at night."
Senior Co-Captain John Weselcouch
Weselcouch, who ran cross country at Fairfield High School in his hometown of Fairfield, CT, was interested in continuing at the college level. When he realized Emerson had a women's team but no men's squad, he approached Furey about the idea of forming one. As a result of enough student interest as well as Emerson's established women's team, the men's team was given varsity status at its inception.
The cross-country team holds team speed practices Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7 a.m. These practices may be only an hour each day but prove to be difficult as the weather grows colder.
"Once the school year starts, each morning gets a little harder," says Weselcouch, a Piano Row resident. "Each morning gets a little darker."
On other days, members of the team are expected to run on their own to prepare for meets, which usually occur on Saturdays. Although not all athletes fit their running in every day, Weselcouch is adamant about getting his workout in.
"Mondays, I have a huge, packed class schedule from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., so the only time I can get a run in is at 10 o'clock at night," he said.
This year, Weselcouch has placed in the top 15 in all three of his meets, including a second place finish at Rivier College on Sept. 29. Ahead on the schedule are the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Oct. 28 and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship Nov. 4.
Outside of cross country, Weselcouch, a film major, is set to attend Emerson's Los Angeles program in the spring. In fact, he hopes to be spending even more time there after he graduates.
"I'd like to work on films [for a living]," Weselcouch said. "Hopefully, the L.A. internship this spring can help me with that. I would like to start out trying to get my hands into any part of production. I wouldn't mind being a production assistant at all."
Weselcouch is an active member of the Emerson community outside of his athletic involvement.
He will be starring as a college-aged George Bush in a practicum film project and has participated in Frames Per Second, a student-run organization dedicated to film production in addition to his role as president of Jimmy's Traveling All-Stars, a campus comedy troupe.