Running with two teams


CUH Athletics

Aires and Ferro race to finish line.

By Sheehan Chase, Staff Writer

The Chaminade cross-country team’s next meet will be the PacWest Championships this Saturday in Kea’au, Hawaii. The meet will begin at 8 a.m. and features both BYU-Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University. Among the athletes that will be participating in this weekend’s invitational two Chaminade runners stand out, Brazilian seniors Guilerme Aires from Porto Nacional and Nicolas Ferro from Sao Paulo.

Aires and Ferro are originally soccer players but became the last additions to the cross-country team this season. Due to the eligibility issues with some of the freshmen earlier in the season, head coach Shadrack Nabea decided to recruit directly from the soccer team.

“Having no running background I was very impressed,” Nabea said. “Not only were they (Aires and Ferro) a great addition to the team, but they actually made our team. Without them we would not have made the minimum of five (athletes) per team.”

With all the school-related responsibilities, simply participating in one college sport is challenging. Being a dual athlete requires an exceptional level of dedication. The commitment required to balance both school with two sports is something not many students would attempt. While both Aires and Ferro continue this juggling act, they are true examples of “student-athletes.”

“I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to play sports at Chaminade,” Ferro said. “Soccer is my passion and has been my main focus here, but when I heard the cross country team needed more people I decided to volunteer.”

While both sports require a certain level of endurance, the running styles of the two are distinctive. The short bursts of quick speed in soccer are very different from the longer distance running of cross-country. Just because someone is fast on the soccer field doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be a successful cross-country runner. And vice versa, just because someone is a good endurance runner in cross-country doesn’t mean that will translate to soccer.

“Participating in two college sports is a great experience,” Aires said. “Cross-country is about how you prepare yourself while in a race. In soccer I use a lot of footwork as well as a variety of different paces throughout the game. In cross-country you try to find a running rhythm, while in soccer you have to adjust your rhythm as there is body-to-body contact.”

Aires has started nine of the 10 games for CUH men’s soccer this season, and he has scored two goals in the last two games as the soccer team has already tied a school record with five wins.

“The running styles are completely different though,” Ferro said. “There is a lot of stop and go in soccer with breaks and substitutions, and in cross-country you need to really work on your own pace because it’s just you out there.”

Ferro is the all- time career-leading in game-winning goals for the Swords and is ranked second in career points. Ferro played soccer at CUH for four seasons but is using his fifth year of athletic eligibility to compete in cross-country.

Despite the differences in running styles, both Ferro and Aires are able to contribute to both teams. The Swords are looking to improve on their ranking this weekend as they have finished in third place in their previous four invitational meets.

“We’ve been preparing very hard throughout the whole season,” Nabea said. “All of our training is meant for us to perform well at our home invitational and especially during conference play. … We will be ready.”