Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) continued to perform on a national level this past weekend at the Dr. Jack Toms Open at Lynchburg College, earning a spot as this week’s Royals Athlete of the Week.
Connor improved his personal best in the 400m hurdles to a time of :53.10. He not only won gold at the meet, but the finish kept him at No. 1 in the nation for the event. On top of his impressive individual performance, he also served as the anchor leg for the Royals’ 4x400m relay. The team, which included Josh Bishop (Louisa, Va./Louisa County), Alec Thibodeaux (Mount Sidney, Va./Fort Defiance) and Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock), clocked at 3:24.12, winning the event and notching the second-fastest time in the ODAC this season.
“I knew that this year I was going to strive to perform the best I could,” Connor said. “Starting off so strong was a great sign, and that I’m still improving shows what I have left to do.”
Connor puts a lot of emphasis on his training as a large part to his early success, especially the work that he does on a daily basis with Coach Brian Simpson.
“Our practices are intense within my training and that is a big part of why I have started off so strong,” Conner explained. “Coach Simpson has gotten me here this year. His training has allowed me to get to the point I am now and hopefully continue in success. He is truly a great coach and knows what he is doing with his athletes.”
Connor continuously praised the work that Coach Simpson has him doing, noting the improved times of many of the athletes within the program.
“If you look at the athletes on the team, we have all run some of the fastest times of our career,” Connor said. “We can all attribute it to him and his coaching design and mindset.”
Being at the top of the nation in the 400m hurdles is something that Connor takes pride in, but understands the work to continue to stay at the top.
“It’s honestly weird to think about, just thinking that I am No. 1 in the nation here at EMU, a tiny school in Virginia compared to all the other athletes across the country,” said Connor. “I know that anything can happen and now I’m just doing my best to stay there as long as I can and make it to nationals and hopefully win.”
Connor maintains a nursing major and looks to finish it in his final two years at Eastern Mennonite. He hopes to work in intensive care or an emergency department.
“Right now I am just working on my studies with hopes that all things will fall into place,” Conner said.
With many meets still in sight for the junior, the most recent one this weekend at the VertKlasse Meeting at D-I High Point University, Conner will attempt to continue to improve his performances through a steady work ethic.
“I am going to work to maintain my physical and nutritional health,” Conner said. “I just need to continue to work and do what I’ve been doing and I should be fine.”
--- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern