Friendly competition is a common theme found among siblings, but for one Gonzaga track and field and cross-country runner, it’s been the catalyst for breaking a school record.
Peter Hogan and his brother Kevin have always enjoyed friendly competition but when his brother showed his sports weakness, Hogan took his chance.
“My eighth grade year, he told me if wanted to be better than him at anything that I have to run cross country,” said the redshirt sophomore. “He had to dig deep to say that.”
Although Hogan admits to not liking the sport much at first, this push to be better than his brother at something paid off in the end. Hogan broke the GU record for 10,000 meters, previously held by Matthew Crichlow, with a time of 29 minutes, 37.53 seconds on March 8 at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.
On Saturday, teammate James Mwaura surpassed Hogan’s school record, clocking 29:15.75 at the Cardinal Classic.
Hogan ran at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, along with two of his GU teammates, Ciaran O’Leary and Kellen Manley.
While cross country and track may be classified as individual-based sports, Hogan said the team is what makes running up to 100 miles a week all worth it.
“If you ask any sports team here, the best times [are] traveling and hanging out in the hotel,” Hogan said. “You’re almost having the most fun when you’re not directly playing your sport.”
His teammates feel the same way.
“It becomes an acquired taste because of the people who are around you,” said Yacine Guermali, a sophomore from Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in the 5,000 meters.
The team has had many enjoyable times separate from training. Whether that be listening to rap music in the locker rooms before practice, hanging out in hotel rooms before meets or shoveling snow around the track after the biggest blizzard in years hit Spokane this winter.
“We had to do it twice because it snowed again,” said redshirt senior Kyle Thompson.
During the winter months, the team had to hold many indoor practices on treadmills at the Rudolf Fitness Center, but the athletes were thankful for how well Spokane plows the roads, allowing them to run outside amidst the snow storms.
Team bonding also extends past practice times. One time after practice, Hogan and Thompson, along with other teammates, decided to hold a competition. But not a normal competition someone would think of — like who could run the fastest or make the most 3-pointers.
“We had a competition for who could sit in the car the longest,” Hogan said, smirking.
The teammates sat in the car for nearly two-and-a-half hours but nobody came out on top because they all left the car at the same time.
“It was after practice,” Hogan said. “We were all sweaty. It was really gross.”
“It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” Thompson added.
The strong sense of team bonding extends beyond current teammates. Hogan was greeted with a congratulatory text from Critchlow the morning after breaking Crichlow’s program record in the 10,000 meters.
“It speaks to how close our team is,” Hogan said. “I never ran with Matt but I remember the next morning [waking up] to a text from him.”
In regard to breaking records, Hogan wants to set new records not as an individual thing, but as a strategy to improve the team as a whole.
Hogan is majoring in sports management and is hoping to do something involving cross country and track once he graduates.
“Sports has always given a lot to me,” he said. “Once I graduate, I want to figure out a way to give back to the sport.”
All because he wanted to best his brother in at least one sport.