Aidan Fitzgerald: Durango To Portland


Aidan Fitzgerald's Best Marks

800 - 1:57.33

1,600 - 4:18.68

3,200 - 9:15

5k - 15:05


Q) Talk about the recruitment process - what other schools were you looking at, and how did you come to choosing the University of Portland?

My recruitment process started in the summer with just some quick unofficial visits where I cruised around and tried to get a feel for the campus. The plan was to narrow down my schools from there and then hopefully take "official" visits later on after talking with coaches and learning more about the school. I looked at CU Boulder, CSU, Wyoming, University of Portland, Portland State, Chico State and Washington. My first "official" visit was actually to the University of Portland and after being around the team, the coaches, the Portland area, and the campus I realized I didn't need to take a next official visit, because that was where I wanted to be. 

Q) What do you plan to study at Portland?

I plan on studying something in the Environmental field... Whether that is Environmental studies, ethics, or maybe even Biology I am not exactly sure yet.

Q) What got you into track and field in the first place?

Growing up I played a lot of soccer and basketball but by the time I got to high school I realized that I wanted to try something new. I had run a few cross-country meets and a share of local "fun-runs" but had never quite gotten into running until my freshman year. My mom actually forced me to go to one of the summer runs with the high school team before the season officially started and I distinctly remember telling her that I was "never doing that again" afterwards. After my parents made me attend a few more summer runs against my will I realized that I was disliking it less and less each time. I also discovered how cool the running community was and decided running was something I wanted to stick with.

Q) You've had success in everything from the 400 on on up to the 5k, what would you say your favorite event is, and why?

That's a tough question but I would have to say the 1600... I think the reason I like the 1600 the most is because it is such a difficult distance to really dial in and know how you're going to race it. For me I have felt the most accomplished when I run a fast mile because you really have to have be discipline at the right times, aggressive at the right times, and have multiple plans for how the race will work itself out.

Q) You went from a 22:27 5k first high school 5k your freshmen year, to 15:05 your senior year. Talk about what did you do to improve so much, and share a few thoughts about that first 5k...

Oof. Yeah the 22:27 was a pretty brutal race. I'm going to cut myself a little bit of slack by acknowledging that it was straight up a mountain and then back down. Regardless, I think the biggest key to my progression was getting to watch our boys team win the XC state championship in thrilling fashion my freshman year. Witnessing how pumped they were to see not just a seasons worth of work, but four years worth of training and comradery was inspiring because I realized how high the reward could be. After that I started running a lot more in the off-seasons, pushing myself harder in practice, and overall putting more effort into races.

Q) What event do you see yourself focusing on at Portland?

I think for me at Portland, the event that I will focus on will be the event that will help contribute to the team the most. My running profile is pretty unique because I have a lot of range in terms of what distance is my premier event... I feel pretty comfortable running anything from a 400 to a 5k. Obviously I don't anticipate racing a whole lot of 400's at Portland but I truly don't think there is an event or distance that I wouldn't be totally content with racing for the time being.

Q) Could you share any goals you have for the upcoming track season?

Yeah for sure. When XC officially ended this past fall I sat down and ended up writing about a page and a half worth of different goals for my senior track season. To summarize here were the first 3 that I wrote down...

  1. Win a state championship (relays or individually).

  2. Race competitively and intelligently every time I step on the track.

  3. Make this season a representation of how far my teammates and I have come not just as athletes but as a family.

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be (so far)?

My favorite high school memory... It'd be pretty easy for me to list certain races but I think my favorite moment is more of a collection of moments with my team and coaches. Whether it was camping in hammocks on XC trips, sending down peaks with the boys, playing frisbee, or the constant shenanigans everyday in practice, it was the family aspect of our team that has made running fast times so much sweeter. That being said I'd like to think that the pinnacle of all my favorite moments is still to come as the season starts to wind down.