“Running is it”


Courtesy of Liam Engel

Liam Engel runs on the cross country and the track and field teams.

“I just love the sport.”

Liam Engel, a junior on the Roger Williams University men’s cross country and track and field team is no stranger to the sport of running.

When not running on winding courses blanketed by the fall foliage of New England, Engel can be found on the track competing in the 800-meter race and the 400-meter relay.

To say Engel has lived an active lifestyle is an understatement. Besides running track and cross country, Engel also played lacrosse, soccer, tennis and even skied when he was younger.

“Running is it. Running is my big sport. I’ve always been the best at that, and I have a lot of fun doing that,” said Engel, who originally picked up the sport in the seventh grade while in middle school.

On top of his love for the sport, Engel’s desire to compete on the collegiate level steered him down the road to continue his running career.

“I always dreamed of running in college. That was always a big thing with me. I always just kept running because I wanted to stick with it and get better so I could get to that college level,” said Engel.

Like many athletes at RWU, Engel has had to deal with the effects of COVID-19 that were imposed on athletes and their teams.

In his first year, he was able to compete in the Fall 2019 cross country season but missed out on his freshman year of track and field until he finally debuted for the Hawks last spring, helping them bring home a conference championship.

“It was definitely a big step up from high school,” said Engel when speaking about the absence of his true freshman year of running track.

Although he missed out on what would have been his sophomore year for cross country, Engel has found it easier to readjust to the return to cross country than track in part because of the one year of experience he already had and the makeup of the team.

“You’re much closer to your teammates on cross country just because the team is much smaller and everyone does the same thing,” said Engel.

“I like cross country more because of that aspect, but track is also fun because there are a lot more people you can meet,” he said.

In the Hawks’ first meet of the season at the Suffolk Invite, Engel finished 51 in the field of runners.

For the cross country season, Engel’s first priority is to help the team bring home a conference championship – something the men have not done since the fall of 2014, while also looking to consistently finish in the top seven for the Hawks in their meets.

“The team’s really doing well this year so that’s good. I feel like we’re doing much better than we have in the past, definitely from last year. I feel ready,” said Engel.

Engel and the Hawks will travel to North Dartmouth, Mass. on Sept. 18 for their next meet in the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational.