Don’t blink or you just might miss him. He’s that fast. Who is he you ask? Bruce Wayne? Not quite, although he does fly like Batman. Bruce Almighty? Not really, although sometimes it seems as if he could run on water. Dr. Jekyll? Closer, but he’s not that creepy. Bruce Hyde? That’s the one.
The 5-11 junior distance runner might be the one who rewrites the Cornell record books. He’s already rewritten a couple chapters as he has earned All-America honors in cross country, making him the third Cornellian to ever do so. He is also the first Cornell cross country runner to earn All-American honors since Brian Clas ’93. After such an impressive fall term, Hyde has only improved during the indoor season, winning an individual Heps title. He looks to keep improving during the outdoor season, which is just starting to heat up, as the top meets are scheduled in the months of April and May.
“He’s matured dramatically,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “And, as an athlete, he’s hands down one of the top guys on the team. No matter how you put it, he’s an All-American. Here at Cornell, that’s something to be proud of.”
Hailing from Harwood Union High School in Waterbury, Vt., Hyde might of made his most impressive performance at the Terrier Classic in November, where he ran a 8:03 in the 3,000-meters. That mark claimed the school record and smashed his personal record by 37 seconds.
He then continued to out-do himself, turning in a 3:42.44 time in the 1,500-meters at the USATF indoor meet, which is equivalent to the four minute mile. The event also showed his love for the prime time, as the race was shown on national television.
With his talent and attitude, it’s amazing to think that Hyde wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school. Among institutions including the University of Oregon, William & Mary, Princeton, and Penn State, Hyde chose Cornell amongst all others because of one of the school’s unique characteristics.
“When I came here, I was impressed by Cornell, but what really made me want to come here was the food,” Hyde said. “I remember touring and walking around RPU and it was amazing.”
Thanks to the inability for the University of Oregon — Hyde’s mother’s alma mater — to supply scholarship money, and Cornell’s devotion to unbelievable dining hall experiences, Hyde landed here in the middle of the paradise known as Ithaca, N.Y. But, he didn’t stay for long.
After a successful first semester, Hyde decided to take a jet plane out of town and spend a year and a half training with elite distance runners in Flagstaff, Ariz. Hyde attributes his success in his junior year to his work ethic and determination put into long hours of training.
“I moved out west for a year to train and work in Arizona,” Hyde said. “I meant to train for the Olympic year and I ended up just taking a year off. I definitely think I improved out there.”
With a blistering kick and a range unlike that of other athletes, Hyde combines a track life with that of the glamour that comes from a life in the music industry, as he doubles as the lead guitarist of the band, Mad Dash. Mad Dash happens to include other track stars including senior singer Emory Mort, junior bass maestro Gordon Hall, and drummer John Goldsmith. They recently rocked the Big Red Tsunami Relief Benefit Concert. Mad Dash will play at The Nines in two weeks.
As much as a star that Hyde is, his most challenging task will be to see how he grows into the leader of the track team, lending his expertise to a talented young group of distance runners. No matter how well the freshmen class performs, Hyde said that even natural athletes need advice along the way — including freshman phenom Jimmy Wyner.
“I take full credit for all of Jimmy Wyner’s success,” Hyde joked.
Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Staff Writer