Chad Maier, a standout member of the men’s track and field team at Manhattan, was recently named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Male Performer of the Week for his performance at the Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In the first outdoor track meet of the season, the junior from Long Island came in second place in the men’s 3,000-meter race with a time of 8:34.90.
The Quadrangle: How did you first get into track and field?
Chad Maier: I actually started in cross country before I got into track and field. I started in middle school, all of my friends were doing it so I just did it with them. I wasn’t a big fan of the sport until my sophomore year of high school when I ran spring track. My coach at the time saw a big improvement and we kept building up from there until I became one of my high school’s best runners and that’s what lead me to here.
TQ: What was it about MC that made you want to come here and be a Jasper?
CM: I’d say it was mainly because we have a good engineering program and my big thing is transportation and civil engineering so it was a really good fit. I also knew about the school for a few years because my high school came to Manhattan College for the invitationals they had every fall.
TQ: What has been your experience as a collegiate athlete so far?
CM: It’s a lot more work than high school, I’ll say that. It’s been a lot of fun travelling to different places to compete. Most recently the team went to South Carolina last weekend, that was our spring break trip. For MAACs in cross country my sophomore year we went to Disney World, that was a very special trip. We went to Virginia and we are going there again soon.
TQ: What is it like to balance athletics and academics, especially being a chemical engineer?
CM: It’s a lot harder than it looks. It is very hard for me because my major is one of the ones that you requires a lot of work and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m already retaking a class. But it will work out that I will still get to graduate on time so that’s good. Just take your time and do whatever you can to balance it all out. It’s really tough but I’m still making it work, if I’m still running that’s a good sign.
TQ: You were recently awarded MAAC Male Performer of the Week for your performance at the Shamrock Invitational, what does that honor mean to you?
CM: The race was the first race for spring, which was really nice. I’ve never did a 3K outdoors. All of my 3Ks are indoors during the winter season. My personal record is actually still in Draddy which is funny. The idea of the race was very simple: just run. Coach says “just run a race, just compete, don’t worry about the time” so that’s what I did.
TQ: What are you hoping to accomplish looking ahead to the rest of the outdoor track season?
CM: I’m looking to qualify in both the 5K and the 10K for IC4A. I hope to score again at MAACs in both the 5K and the 10K as well. Those are the only two events I really plan on doing. I may run the mile at some point but that’s not totally my decision.
TQ: What/who is your biggest running inspiration?
CM: My inspiration would be letting go of all the pressure of myself that I get from school. Running, I think, eases off everything I think about and just going numb and not thinking about it. That’s what gets me going. But people who have inspired me is most of the senior class. My two roommates especially, John Dove and Chris Orlando, they’re my captains. It was Dove back at the Jasper invite who paced our 3K and because of that I was able to qualify for IC4As and I’m forever grateful for that. Chris has always been good competition for me, even though he’s still a teammate we still run together. The two of them really push me to good times.