Cross Country |
Aug. 31, 2005
by Elise Keeler, Sports Communications Student
Some people come to the University of Cincinnati because of its far distance from home. Others may choose it because they are the first in their family to go to college. Neither of these were the reason for Brad Neumann. His reason for coming to the UC: he wanted to stay close to the people who mean the most to him - his family - and because most of his family have been Bearcats. Neumann is a junior in the College of Business, and he is also a student-athlete. His family's proximity to UC has enabled them to watch him run cross country in the fall as well as track and field in the spring.
One member of Neumann's Cincinnati-dwelling family that has been a constant role model is his great uncle, Don Wahle. Not only was Wahle a runner for UC, but he held school records in the mile and 2-mile. As far as his influence on Neumann coming to UC, it was definitely felt. "He was always around when I was growing up. Anyone that competes in running from Cincinnati knew who he was so it was nice to be able to talk to them. They have a really good opinion of him," says Neumann.
Wahle faithfully attends the local meets, but not without difficulty due to being legally blind. Sitting alongside Wahle is always Neumann's grandmother or father, letting him know how Neumann is doing every step of the way.
At 70 years old, Wahle has not been to help Neumann with his training, but has been able to give him some valuable advice. "He is a very motivational guy and believes in having a good mind. As long as you're motivated; everything will work out," Brad applies his uncle's advice not just to running, but to all aspects of his life.
On the track, Neumann started out well his first year. His freshman year included the two most memorable moments of his career so far. In cross country, the team placed second in Conference USA with an extremely young team. In track and field, he finished fourth in the 1,500 meters when he was projected to place lower, helping the Bearcats to a conference title.
After missing last spring with a shoulder injury, Neumann picked the best time to be able to compete again. With a move to the BIG EAST there is a definite excitement, not just around campus, but also in the training room. The BIG EAST is ranked among the top three conferences in the country for track and cross country. Turn on your television during the Olympic Trials: the people winning are from the BIG EAST. There is a buzz around the track as everyone gears up for what could be the beginning of a very special season.
Unfortunately for Bearcat fans, the cross country runners from UC only get to show off for local fans fans for one meet, the Queen City Invitational on September, 16. Neumann describes this meet as more of a showcase of UC's potential because it hosts local schools instead of our new conference members.
In the future, Neumann will graduate from UC and face the real world. What the real world holds for Brad Neumann is still up in the air. "It really depends on the journey I take." Once you meet Brad you realize there is something special about him; he's got a positive attitude that is contagious. He says it's due to "my teammates - like Taylor Garvin who has been really nice. Coach (Bill Schnier) is always trying to convince us to perform to the best of our abilities."
One thing that Neumann would like to see in his future is coaching. Wanting to be a coach is something that only another athlete can understand. "I have had enough coaches that have influenced me in a positive way. The sacrifices that they have made for us, I would like to make for someone else."
Brad Neumann's future at the University of Cincinnati and after graduation is definitely bright.