Junior runs his way to the top

September 23, 2013 — by Bruce Lou and Sanj Nalwa
Junior Rohith Krishna always dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps. His father, Krishna Narayanaswamy, has six Boston Marathon medals, and Krishna had often admired his father’s racing ability.
In his younger days, his father aimed to break 3 hours for a marathon — 26.2 miles. He never did, but Krishna plans to do so.
Junior Rohith Krishna always dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps. His father, Krishna Narayanaswamy, has six Boston Marathon medals, and Krishna had often admired his father’s racing ability.
In his younger days, his father aimed to break 3 hours for a marathon — 26.2 miles. He never did, but Krishna plans to do so.
Krishna joined the cross country team as a freshman. Back then, however, Krishna could not begin to compare to other runners on the team. Krishna then ran a 7:40 mile — turtle’s pace by cross country standards — and maintained a near-permanent spot in the back. 
“When you’re in a race and you’re at the back and people are crossing you, it’s demoralizing,” Krishna said. 
But by the end of his freshman year, Krishna had cut his mile time by more than a minute. While the journey from then to today was more than a few miles along, today Krishna is one of the rising leaders of the cross-country team — a far cry from the freshman who struggled with practices just a few years ago. 
“The time I really stepped it up was the summer between freshman and sophomore year,” Krishna said. “It’s about pushing yourself to the limit to make your body faster. The workouts were really challenging. I knew I wasn’t the best, but I kept on running.”
Krishna’s inspiration was, fittingly, his father. In the mornings, Krishna and his father got up at 7:30 a.m. and ran along Saratoga streets. 
“He just woke me up every morning and took me to run with him,” Krishna said. “That helped me improve a lot because it gave me more consistency and I pushed myself much more to do longer, harder runs. I knew I could [become faster] — I just needed to get to the fitness level needed.” 
His father was influential in Krishna’s dedication to cross country. 
“It has always my belief that you have to have a good balance of academics and physical activity,” Narayanaswamy said. “It was with that goal that I encouraged Rohith [Krishna] to run.”
Today, Krishna runs a 5:07 mile, and is one of the fastest runners on the team, often finishing with elite runners such as seniors Drew Bryan and Daniel Johnston. No longer the freshman in the back of races, Krishna often leads team practices and helps nurture underclassmen. 
“His freshman year I had no idea who he was,” Bryan said. “He started to get really good. He's going to be a key piece on our varsity team this year.”
Coach Dan Ambrico has watched Krishna’s transformation from laggard to leader.
“Rohith was one of the freshmen who barely scraped by to get in the team. [Rohith] never ran before and couldn’t even finish a one mile run,” Ambrico said. “He wasn’t even capable of finishing a race at first, but now he’s gone sub-5-minute-mile.”
As he enters junior year, Krishna aims to make CCS this year. In order to do so, Krishna plans to simply do exactly as Ambrico instructs him.
“He’s a great coach, and he knows exactly what I need to do to improve,” Krishna said. “Coach [Ambrico] has always been pushing me to do my best so I’m just going to follow whatever training regimen he puts together for me.”
Making CCS won’t be an easy feat, as the team has many excellent runners, especially among the upperclassmen. Krishna is not last in races any longer, but even when he was it didn’t seem to have ever bothered him very much.
“I would feel more accomplished getting last at a race where I ran my personal best over winning a race where I ran a slower time,” Krishna said. “Everyone can be fast. You just need to improve yourself.”
 
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