Word came down earlier this week that one of the big fishes was now swimming in the Whirlaway pond. It almost seemed too good to be true; did we really just land Ruben Sança? Getting the team rivalries more into the mainstream is a great way to heat up the competition. An elite guy like Ruben switching teams can certainly get those fires going.
So what does Ruben have to say about it all? Here’s an excerpt from his introductory message to his new teammates:
I’m really excited to be part of this group. As some of you may know, I have been well connected with the region since my freshman year at UMass Lowell in 2005. I enjoy this area so much that I never left. I now live and work in the Dracut/Lowell area. I’m glad to be on the team, but most importantly I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you. I think there are many ways we can learn from each other and use our experiences to help people of all ages and abilities on and off the track in this area. I would like to take this time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and good luck in your training.
To find out a little more, we sent Ruben a few extra questions:
You live on the north shore, did that factor into your decision to change teams?
Yes, definitely. I wanted to be closer to other runners who live around me and have a stronger effect on the community where I feel the closest to.
Why Whirlaway? Did you consider other clubs in the area?
I felt especially connected with the team knowing that many of the members have had a connection to UMass Lowell at some point or another. In addition, I felt like this was a natural move for me at this point in my life where I feel settled at my job and my living situation. I really enjoy living in the Merrimack Valley and being connected to people of all ages and abilities when it comes to the sport. It gives me great honor to share my running experiences with others, but it also allows me to learn from others who have been in the same shoes I’m in now. It also doesn’t hurt that Whirlaway has had a long tradition of excellence when it comes to all levels of racing, from young college grads to the masters and senior teams.
Does the move signify any other changes, in training or what races you’ll focus on?
I hope to have the opportunity to compete at the national and international stage again at some point as long as I stay healthy. Locally, I would like to inspire and lead my teammates to become contenders on the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series.
As you may already know, two key contributors for Level Renner proudly wear the Whirlaway colors. Did your love of Level Renner help guide you to Whirlaway?
I actually hadn’t put that together until a few days ago, but it’s great to know I’m teammates with people who want to advance the sport in New England.
Hmm, I don’t know about that last answer. I’ll just pretend he said ‘yes’. But I can’t blame him for not knowing, not with the amount of time Joe Navas and I (well, mostly me) have spent nursing injuries since Level Renner came into existence. Now that we know the world isn’t ending, we can finally start looking forward to competing in 2013, and the competition just got a little more fierce.