Ryan Bender, Breaking Records


Luke Gann, Contributor

Recently track member Ryan Bender beat the 3200 meter (1.9 miles) track record with a time of 9:50, beating the previous record held by Tim McCarter by a whole six seconds.

He is a very focused athlete who takes his running seriously,” stated Coach William McIlwain.

It is no secret that practice makes perfect, so I asked what Ryan did during his off-season. “With cross country, you don’t really have an off season, so to put it short– run.” When asked what he does every day for practice, he replied, “For a daily practice we warm-up and do our stretches. Then we could do anything from 5-8 miles or a track workout from 200s up to mile repeats.” 

Ryan balances his schoolwork and track. “I balance schoolwork with track by doing co-op in order to cut down on work from other classes; it really has come in handy.”

Ryan has plans for college but running competitively may or may not be a part of it. “As of now, the plan for college is to get a major in business and a minor in engineering or vice versa. If I meet the required [collegiate running] times, as of now I’m not there, but I’m hoping to be by the end of the season.” 

According to Luke Garrison, a fellow team member, Ryan “is a very hard-working individual, and he is very excited about his practice. He has a confidence about him that one can only describe as contagious, and it spreads in practice helping push those around him.” Coach McIlwain agreed. “He’s a hard worker who puts a lot of time and effort in practice and has proven to be a true leader.”

Whether Ryan runs in college or not, he’s left his mark on the Bob Jones track program.