Athlete of the week: Jacob Greenia goes the extra mile


Sam Hartley

Jacob Greenia

Johnson State College cross country runner Jacob Greenia has been chosen as the “Basement Medicine” athlete of the week.

Greenia, who is in his junior year as a journalism major, began cross country running in 2010 at Bellows Free Academy (BFA) in St. Albans, Vt.

“I started running competitively during my junior year of high school as a healthier way of dealing with my anxiety,” he said. “I played baseball my freshman year, which is my favorite sport, but that was an abject failure. The community surrounding my school’s cross country team really made it an easy decision to transition into being an endurance athlete.”

Once he had graduated from BFA, Greenia attended the Community College of Vermont and was forced to take a hiatus from competing due to the fact that CCV does not have athletic teams. But after he transferred to JSC last fall, he eagerly joined the school’s team. “I was so excited to actually be able to run competitively again,” he said. “I had spent too many days running alone on the hot blacktop.”

Thus far, JSC has had two races and came in fourth place as a team, with Greenia leading the way. At the SUNY Canton Kangaroo Invitational, which is a five-kilometer event, he finished 33 out of 54 runners with a time of 19:55.30. Their second competition was the Castleton State Invitational, an eight-kilometer race, which he ran in 34:03 while coming in 26th place out of the 48 challengers.

“This season has been really fun so far,” Greenia said. “It’s certainly had its challenges, but I really love the group of people that comprise our team. I’ve been working all year to whittle my times down to help the team as much as possible. We may be a very small team, but we’re just trying to have fun and be as competitive as possible.”

Although Greenia is extremely dedicated to his craft, he still finds time for his other interests. “Outside of cross country, I write about music and baseball, read ‘alternative press’ articles and also write poetry,” he said. “I listen to a ton of music and technology podcasts and am designing a new radio show and blog here for WJSC-FM called ‘False Alarms.’ The idea is based around the various issues surrounding punk and alternative music.”

After he graduates from JSC, Greenia plans to continue both competitive running and writing. “After college, I hope to run a few marathons and do some trail races,” he said. “Running is a hobby you can definitely do for the rest of your life, and I intend on doing just that. It is a major stress relief for me and a big part of my social life.”

As far as the journalism aspect of his life, Greenia hopes that it will lead to professional opportunities, and perhaps more college. “I really want to start writing for local newspapers and eventually for Alternative Press Magazine, a nationally published music and youth culture outlet,” he said. “I want to work to improve myself professionally and personally before I entertain the thought of graduate school.”

The JSC men’s cross country team’s next meet is at Saint Michael’s College on Sept. 30. Then they will travel to Saint Joseph’s College in Maine before concluding the season with the conference championships here at JSC.