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Reed Kamyszek, former Kenowa Hills Track/CC Star, still Running
Reed Kamyszek, former Kenowa Hills Track/CC Star, still Running

Syracuse runner Reed Kamyszek hopes to continue athletic career at graduate school

By Sam FortierAsst. Sports Web Editor

5 days ago

Reed Kamyszek’s dad knew something big had happened. His son had never been one to get very excited.

“But when he is excited you can tell,” Eric Kamyszek said, laughing. “He was bouncing off the walls; that’s for sure.”

Reed had just been accepted into medical school at Duke University, his “long-shot,” dream school.

Kamyszek will leave Syracuse after graduation as one of its most successful runners of all-time, on the course and in the classroom. He ran with the cross-country teams, which won four consecutive conference titles, and he won the 2013 men’s cross-country Elite 89 award, given to the Division-I runner with the highest cumulative grade-point average.

He will pursue his doctor of medicine degree at Duke. But he now faces the challenge of continuing to balance running and schoolwork in his life when he knows medical school will be a much harder challenge than his first five years of college.

“I don’t (plan on stopping running),” he said. “It’s a lifestyle now; it’s more than just a sport. Stopping it now would be more detrimental than to take on some form of running as it is.”

He wants to train with other people. Kamyszek is out of NCAA eligibility and can’t talk to Duke coaches because he’s still running at SU, but he wants to find a central New York satellite team based at Duke to run with. He knows, though, that the workload may complicate things.

The medical school classroom expectations will be higher, he said. There will be more information, which he will be expected to comprehend quickly. He will have labs and clinicals — classes where students operate — and lectures.

“If undergrad is like drinking out of a garden hose, med-school is like getting the fire-hose thrown at you,” he said.

At SU, he balanced the workload of a triple major in psychology, biochemistry and ethics with structure: Wake up at 7 a.m. for a 30-minute team run. Breakfast, then class or tutoring around 9:30. On campus until 1 p.m. doing classwork, research, or more tutoring. Then back to the dorm for 90 minutes until running practice from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — “Almost like a 40-hour work week,” he said — and after dinner, he does homework until 10 p.m. and lights out at 11 p.m.

“Structure helps with the classroom and running,” he said. “The benefits and the mental de-stresser, I’ll definitely try to keep a routine.”

Though his schedule won’t arrive until July, he knows classes start around 9 a.m. Kamyszek plans to squeeze in a run or bike ride early in the morning, before class or clinical.

He chose Duke, in part, because training early in the morning in North Carolina would be more pleasant than in another place with a climate like Syracuse. Kamyszek, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has lived in snowier areas for his whole life and wants to put on shorts and run in the morning rather than shovel out his car.

Kamyszek chose Duke over northern schools like Pittsburgh or State University of New York Upstate Medical University, not just because of the weather, but what he saw on his second visit to Duke.

“The professors are not just there to teach you,” he said. “But mentor you as well — kind of like a (running) coach does here at Syracuse.”

Kamyszek has heard teasing about his choice of Duke, one of SU’s biggest rivals, from Adam Smith, an assistant coach. Smith, who graduated from rival school North Carolina, says jokingly that the two have “bad blood,” but that Kamyszek is well prepared to balance med-school and running.

He’s already done it, Smith said. At SU, Kamyszek trained, tutored his teammates, volunteered at Crouse Hospital and did his own schoolwork.

It will be something Kamyszek will have to learn to balance all over again, crafting a new structure under a new schedule.

“I’d like to train for another year, year and a half,” Kamyszek said. “But med-school comes first at this point. I’ve had my time of competitive running here at Syracuse.”

Published on May 7, 2015 at 7:58 am

Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu

 

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