Coach McCarten forgoes respite to continue GRHS track star’s training

Running in sectionals this Saturday, Dan Dooner has been training one-on-one with Coach McCarten over the past week.

Photo Credit: Ryan Stolz

Running in sectionals this Saturday, Dan Dooner has been training one-on-one with Coach McCarten over the past week.

by Max Felsenstein, Sports Writer

“The sky is the limit. Failure is not a bad thing, it is simply a motivator,” Glen Rock High School senior track athlete, Dan Dooner, said.

For many runners at Glen Rock High School and all over the country, the winter track and field season ended just over a week ago. For Dan Dooner, the season will continue this weekend, when he will compete in the 55-meter hurdle race in an attempt to win the State Meet of Champions.

The race, to be held in Toms River, was scheduled for last week but was postponed until this weekend due to the severe weather forecast. This gave Dooner and GRHS Track and Field coach JP McCarten additional time to prepare for the race — one-on-one.

“I’ve always enjoyed Track and Field, plus I ran in high school,” McCarten, who is also a Special Education teacher, said. “Winter Track is a lot of fun. It’s a time to prepare for spring track, but I enjoy all of the seasons. I take a great deal of pride in coaching all of our talented athletes.”

“As a unit, I was hoping to have everyone peak at the same time, registering their best times at the last meet of the season,” McCarten said. “In our final meet, at the Bergen County Championships, we had 25 of our 46 runners set personal records.”

Dooner was seeded behind five other hurdlers in the State-Sectionals and ran a personal-best 8.09 seconds to conclude the Group 1 segment.

In an interview with The Glen Echo, Dooner was asked about his most memorable run of the season. “It was the league meet in the armory in New York City. I won gold that race and beat the next best runner by a full hurdle, ten yards,” Dooner said.

The race, in New York City, just so happened to place Dooner 23rd in the nation among all winter track participants. Yet despite this great achievement, Dooner takes it all in stride.

“There is no pressure, people tend to psych themselves out. I just go in calm and give it my best effort,” Dooner said. “If you give it 110% every time and don’t come out on top, you shouldn’t be upset because you gave it your all.”

Dooner gave one last comment, “I try to set a personal record every time I go out there, and this State Meet of Champions is no different.”

Dooner will give his best effort at 1:00 pm on Saturday at the John Bennett Indoor Sports Complex in Toms River.