Locker room: Chris O’Hare
The Scottish runner is The University of Tulsa’s first national track champion.
Chris O’Hare competes in the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Although 5 feet, 8 inches tall, Chris O’Hare could rightfully lay claim to the title of Big Man on Campus at The University of Tulsa.
O’Hare’s start-to-finish lead in the mile run at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships would certainly entitle him. He is the Golden Hurricane’s first national champion in track and field.
However, his unselfish, team-first attitude shines through and takes precedence over any personal glory.
As evidence, O’Hare, from Edinburgh, Scotland, dedicated his victory to his mother back home as he claimed the national crown on her birthday.
He will graduate in May with a degree in exercise science.
O’Hare is preparing to qualify to defend his crown March 8-9 at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships at the University of Arkansas.
TulsaPeople spoke with him about his journey to Tulsa and his track and field career.
How did you start running?
I had an older brother, Ryan, who ran. As many younger brothers, I always thought he was great and I wanted to do whatever he did. I was dying to run in races like he did. Even though I wasn’t yet old enough to compete, we managed to convince the cross-country coach to let me practice. At the first race, I snuck in the race and finished third against much older guys.
Did you play other sports as a child?
Soccer. Where we grew up, it was always football (soccer).
How did you end up at TU?
When I visited TU, it just had a feeling of being a big family and I really liked the atmosphere. I liked TU’s academic aspects and (Head Coach Steve Gulley’s) philosophy was a really good fit for me. My sister, Olivia, is a freshman, and she is running cross-country here at TU.
What kind of mileage will you cover in a typical week getting ready for the cross-country season?
Cross-country has some really long workouts. Some workouts consist of 10 miles or more, with two miles warm-up and two miles of cool-down. Some weeks, I might run 90 miles and some of my teammates may put in as many as 110 miles per week.
What are your plans after college?
I am red-shirting the outdoor track season this spring in order to concentrate on (qualifying to compete at) the World Track Championships in August in Moscow. Since I red-shirted cross-country earlier, I plan to come back and run cross-country and outdoor track next year. Eventually, I would like to get into coaching.
O’Hare has been a champion since his freshman year. Along with his NCAA title win, here are several of his latest highlights.
Track: Junior year
- Named First-Team All-American
- Conference-USA indoor champion in both the 800-meter and the mile
- Set a school record in the 1,000-meter at the Meyo Invitational
- C-USA champion in both the 800- and 1,500-meter
- Qualified for the finals in the 1,500-meter at the Outdoor NCAA Championships
- Broke the school record in the 1,500-meter at the Payton Jordan Invitational
- Named the Division I Indoor Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2012 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association
Cross-Country: Junior year
- C-USA cross-country individual runner-up, leading TU to the Conference Team Championship
- NCAA Midwest Regional Meet individual champion
- Finished in 20th place at NCAA Cross Country Championships, leading TU to a seventh-place team finish nationally, the highest in school history
- Named Midwest Region Athlete of the Year