In 2010 and 2011, the Bishop Hendricken cross country team had some of the best success it's ever had, winning titles left and right and competing at the national level. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of talent responsible for the success, and as the Hawks headed into the 2012 season, a lot of that talent had graduated.
Into the void stepped a corps of young runners, and sophomore Colin Tierney was one of the leaders of the pack. Together, the young Hawks kept the bar exactly where it was, winning the state title and the New England championship.
“It was crazy because it was almost a rebuilding year for us,” Tierney said. “We didn't have many people coming back and we were a really young team. It was a great thing.”
The Hawks succeeded because of their depth. On a given day, any of their top six runners could lead the pack.
Tierney was as consistent as anybody. He finished eighth at states, second-best on the team, and took 20th at New Englands to lead the squad.
“We lost some outstanding runners,” said Hendricken head coach Jim Doyle. “Usually you don't get athletes to fill those shoes until they're juniors or seniors. Colin stepped up in a big way.”
Tierney started focusing on running when he was at Cole Middle School in East Greenwich. At Hendricken, he had success as a freshman in races geared toward underclassmen. Heading into his sophomore year, he really didn't know what to expect.
Doyle wasn't surprised that he was successful.
“You see potential in a lot of people, but a lot of people kind of figure 'I'm good, I'm going to come out here and just be good,'” Doyle said. “Colin has potential but he also has a tremendous work ethic. That's why he's been successful.”
Now Tierney and the Hawks are committed to more success. Nearly everybody is back from last year and the goals will be high again in the fall.
“We're going to strive for another big goal,” Tierney said. “We want to get to Nike Nationals.”