* Brian DiCola of Hatboro Horsham (PA) discusses his goals going into the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships this weekend
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Looking at Brian DiCola's season as a whole, he's made his mark through various accomplishments.
The Hatboro-Horsham (PA) senior was able to take down Gary Martin's Paul Short course record with a new personal best of 14:43 for 5K in September, he earned his first Pennsylvania cross country state title in November and then he qualified for the Champs Sports National Championships in December.
In his eyes, his season couldn't have gone any better.
The only thing that's missing now is the experience of competing at the RunningLane Cross Country Championships.
That will change on December 3.
But a win won't come easy.
In Huntsville, DiCola will line up with a chance to win and earn his first national title. Maybe better? He could also drop a new 5K personal best.
"I'm hopeful, I'm going for some good times," DiCola said. "There's been a ton of history over the last two years with boys running under 14:10. [RunningLane] is where you go for the best time of the season, and that's what I'm going to go for."
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* Brian DiCola approaches the finish line at the PIAA State Championships in early November
Photo Credit: Phil Grove / MileSplit Pennsylvania
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We witnessed that last year as Colin Sahlman dropped a 14:03 to win and lead Newbury Park to a historic finish. There were 73 boys who dipped under 15 minutes for 5K and 14 runners were able to finish before 14:30 was on the clock.
This season, confidence has been an edge DiCola has carried with him, and he says he'll bring that to Alabama.
He came off a spring season with a personal best of 4:11 in the mile and a 9:02 in the 3,200m. That momentum, plus the increased mileage this fall, he said, carried him through the season.
Now as DiCola toes the line in less than a week for one of his last races of the cross country season, he knows he will need to dig deep if he wants to come across first.
"It's going to take a fast time, I can tell you that," DiCola said with a chukle. "[RunningLane] is a race that goes out hard, so it will come down to a kick for sure and whoever can fight hard the longest."