LYNN — Classical’s Rachel Brennan found plenty of success during her cross country and track seasons with the Rams, and now she’s going to keep running right into the next level. The Rams senior committed to continue her running career and education at Gordon College in Wenham.
For Brennan, her faith along with the variety of options Gordon offers in the classroom made it the right choice for her.
“I’m a Christian so I wanted to go to a Christian school where I can continue to grow my faith,” Brennan said. “Gordon has a lot of good programs for a lot of different majors and I’m still undecided, so that’s good too.”
The Fighting Scots program also promises to be a place where Brennan can improve over the years without any unnecessary pressure right away.
“They’re super nice and really big on getting you better over four years,” Brennan said. “Their focus is really on getting you ready to have your best senior year, which I like. Running there will be a good fit. I wanted to go somewhere competitive but not a Division I school because there’s less stress.”
Brennan hadn’t ran competitively before coming to Classical, but that didn’t stop her from finding both individual and team success.
In her first season with the Rams cross country team, Brennan and her teammates won a Northeastern Conference South title.
“I want to give a huge shoutout to my cross country team,” Brennan said. “The year before I was still playing soccer and they couldn’t even field enough runners to compete. We really came together this year.”
Her biggest individual highlight came during this past winter track and field season at the NEC championships where Brennan finished first overall in the one-mile (5:39.29).
“Winning that race is a goal I’ve had since my freshman year,” Brennan said. “But I was really nervous the whole week before. The race was on a weekend and I started to get sick that Wednesday. I was thinking to myself, ‘I didn’t need this to happen.’ Fortunately some of the other girls there weren’t feeling well either. During the race I had to stop to drink water because I felt so terrible. I didn’t finish with my best time, but it was enough to win.”
Unfortunately Brennan couldn’t carry over that hard earned success she had in the winter into her final spring season after the coronavirus pandemic forced a cancelation of all spring sports.
“I was really upset,” Brennan said. “This spring I wanted to get in some 800’s and get my mile time under 5:20. And I have different coaches for spring than winter (Scott Fiore and Colleen Peterson), who have become some of my best friends. I was upset not to have one more season with them.”
Fiore was the biggest reason Brennan was able to find her love for track that grew during her time with the Rams.
“Specifically, coach Fiore is the one that got me into running,” Brennan said. “I never did any running before my freshman year. But Fiore encouraged me to do the summer runs in the woods and it was enjoyable.
“Going into my sophomore year I had been a swimmer, which is what I wanted to go to college for originally but I switched over to winter track,” Brennan said. “Then my senior year I switched to cross country from soccer. All my coaches have been so supportive of that.”
Now Brennan shifts her focus to Gordon, where she hopes to build on the success she found in cross country and in the one-mile.
“I definitely want to get the mile under 5:20,” Brennan said. “And in cross country I’m looking to win a race or two because I really care a lot about winning my races. I’d love to do that. Overall though I just want to stay healthy and really enjoy my time there.”