Boys cross country | Sectional Preview

South Central's Flannery following in his brother's footsteps

2013-10-11T17:00:00Z 2014-09-05T18:05:07Z South Central's Flannery following in his brother's footstepsJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
October 11, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

When Bryan Flannery was younger, he used to run laps around the track at Portage with his brother Jim, a former Indians runner whose teams reached the state cross country finals in 2003 and 2004.

At least that's what his parents tell him.

"I don't remember," Bryan said. "I went to all of his meets when I was little, getting up early in the morning."

A few years later, the Flannerys moved to Union Mills. Bryan took up running in sixth grade at South Central, though his passion for the sport wasn't immediate.

"The first year, he told me he didn't really like doing it, but you never would've known," said Satellites coach Rachel Werner, who also coached Flannery in junior high. "He was a decent runner, but not a standout. He learned to love it. He decided he wanted it more and he really started putting in the workouts. He's got a very supportive family, which is awesome to watch."

Flannery's interest began to grow last spring during track.

"I needed something to do, something to push myself," he said.

Running on his brother's old oval, the freshman finished fifth in the 3,200 meters at the Portage Sectional, one place out of a regional berth, behind three seniors and another frosh, Wheeler's Joel O'Shea. His hip problems abated, Flannery showed marked improvement from cross country, where he placed 46th in the Chesterton Sectional.

"It made me realize I could actually do well, go far in the tournament," he said. "I wanted to do better. It made me work harder. I did a lot more training than last year."

Over the summer, Flannery put in between 55 and 60 miles a week, and he's been earning dividends on his investment since. On Tuesday, he took third in the Porter County Conference Championship -- up from 14th as a freshman -- to head into Tuesday's sectional with a jolt of confidence.

"He has a good chance to get out," Werner said. "Even with the old (format), he had a chance. He's pretty serious about what he's doing. He's running in the winter, lifting weights, doing everything he can. He's got the (physical) core. He can go, go, go and kick at the end. He knows not to go crazy at the beginning, to pace himself, when to surge, when not to surge."

For Flannery, like most runners, the physical side of running is just half the battle. Ranked third in his class with a 4.2 grade point average, he understands a strong mind is just as important as strong legs.

"It's really a mental sport," he said. "You push yourself to run the best you can, try to ignore your body, the pain you feel, and push through it. I always used to go out real fast and the third mile, I was just dead. I've learned control. If I need to start out fast, I can do it. If I need to surge at the end, I can do that. If I need to stay consistent, I can do that. It's not where you start that matters. It's where you finish."

While Kyleigh Werner has become the face of S.C.'s girls program, Flannery hopes his success can spur interest in the boys ranks. This season's roster of 13 is coach Werner's largest.

"My focus is on getting out of sectionals. The end goal is to get to state," Flannery said. "I just want to have more guys realize that we can be good, we can do something. You can run well if you set your mind to it. It's hard to run by yourself. It's more fun to run with other people."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Featured Businesses