Cats’ Steinhagen Cracks Up Competition

Do not let his recent re-cord-breaking performances in the Terrier Invitational fool you. Sure, UVM senior Track and Field star Sean Steinhagen etched his name atop the school record books for both the mile (4:08.35) and 500m events (1:06.10), but the true essence of the Portland, Maine native reaches far be-yond his championed athletic prowess. For the recent Ath-lete of the Week, the exposure that trails his achievements allows him to showcase an-other unparalleled talent: a champion sense of humor.”I initially got into track and field for the same reasons everyone does, the girls, the money and the fame. When I was younger I played lots of different sports but the thing that separated me from ev-eryone else was being fast-er, so track made the most sense.”Steinhagen certainly made the right decision. After spending his freshman year at the University of Maine, the comedic jester wasted no time in taking UVM track and field by storm, earning team MVP honors for the past two seasons. Coupled with his su-perb performance thus far, the already 800m and 1500m school record holder has only added to his legend. So, what is it like to be the Steve Pre-fontaine of UVM?”Just imagine walking to class and having 100 people know you by name. It feels phenomenal.”So, Wonderboy, what is the secret of your powers? One might imagine that the biol-ogy/pre-med major had gone Doc Brown on the competi-tion and derived the chemi-cal formula for the flux ca-pacitor. Instead, Steinhagen’s secret weapon is simply a staple of Billy Madison’s bag lunch.”I have to eat a Chewy granola bar every hour be-fore my race.”Magic potion aside, Stein-hagen owes a great deal of his success to the superb insight and guidance received from his Bill Belichickian men-tor. Joe Gingras, an assistant coach for Matt Belfield, has been Steinhagen’s greatest influence. The special con-nection can be seen even amidst Steinhagen’s great admiration for The Anchor-man and modest but highly sincere shout out to parents Paul and Mary.”Joe Gingras, my coach, is everything I want to be. I also look up to Ron Burgan-dy. My family is swell too.”All the records? Give them to Gingras and the `rents. Steinhagen graciously cred-its histeammates and strives to deflect the spotlight of his record setting achievements in favor of those most special to him.”Having strong individ-ual performances is great, but they don’t mean anything alone. We have a great team that continues to get better The best part about it is it makes my family proud of me and makes coach Joe Gin-gras look like even more of a stud than he already is.”For now, Steinhagen has his sights set on opening up a can [of granola bars] on the fast approaching Yale Invita-tional (Feb. 2-3). After that? Who knows what the future has in store for the four-time High School Individual Maine State Champion. Still, there is one thing you can count on Steinhagen to do: approach the hurdles of life ahead of him with his trade-mark sense of humor.”If I stay healthy and continue to progress, I hope to qualify for the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials. After col-lege I plan on going into the healthcare field. If that doesn’t work out I’ll do my best to marry a rich girl.”