Former Collegiate Runners Make Impact with SCA

Keene Equinox
Monday, October 5, 2009

Mount Rainier
Photo by brewbooks - cc deed

By Cody Guerrero - Equinox Staff

It certainly isn’t uncommon for the college or even the professional athlete to make a difference outside of their sport. For former KSC cross-country runners Patrick Craven and Sean Gavagahn that is exactly the case.

Craven and Gavagahn, both graduates of the class of 2009 are making a tremendous impact outside of their athletic lives. Craven is currently interning for the Student Conservation Association in California and Gavagahn participated in the same program last year as a senior at KSC.

Gavagahn said he got to travel to Mt. Rainer and also got to spend the summer at Saratoga National Historical Park.
“It opened up so many opportunities for me that I never thought I would have. It was great to go to new places and see new things and I really enjoyed the traveling I was able to do,” Gavaghan said. “I hope to get a job in the near future and I am currently interviewing at the Naval Yard in Portsmouth.”

Craven is currently interning for the SCA in California.

“The experience has been amazing and life changing and there is a lot out there,” Craven said. “There are also many job opportunities in the national parks industry and national forest services and I certainly recommend other people to get involved in an internship like this because it can change your life.”

The SCA is an organization that provides college and high school aged members with hands on conservation service opportunities in virtually every field imaginable.

The internships are for college and graduate students, as well as other qualified individuals. SCA internships provide the opportunity to learn from resource management professionals, gain tangible skills and experience and make a substantial contribution to our natural and cultural treasures.

The internships are available throughout the year, in all conservation disciplines, and range in length from 12 to 52 weeks.

All positions are expense-paid and most offer insurance and education awards, according to the organization’s Web site, www.thesca.org.

Craven and Gavagahn were also renowned athletes in their time at KSC.

Craven was an accomplished cross-country runner and track runner.

Originally from North Kingstown, RI he was a natural runner. In track, he was a member of a KSC champion and record setting 4x800 teams at LEC and New England Division III championships. He also earned New England All- Division and ECAC DMR honors.

Craven was also a member of the LEC All-Academic team, all according to the KSC athletics Web site.
Gavagahn also had many accomplishments.

Originally from Monroe, Conn he was a talented runner and student. In track, Gavagahn earned All-Division New England, New England Division III in the 5,000 meter and All-LEC honors in the 3,000m run. Gavagahn was also a member of the LEC All-Academic team, all according to the KSC athletics Web site.

Both Craven and Gavagahn posted career best times in Cross country.

Gavagahn did so at the New England Regionals and Craven at the Umass-Dartmouth invitational.

Both Gavagahn and Craven showed remarkable work ethic on the track and in the classroom.

KSC cross-country head coach Peter Thomas coached both Craven and Gavaghan in their time at KSC. Thomas said both former runners were very hard workers.

“They were all conference and all New England performers so they were very good athletes,” Thomas said. “”They were very good contributors to our team.”

KSC athletic director John Ratliff said he is proud of the accomplishments both Craven and Gavaghan have made.

“Working and volunteering non-profit is great both in and out of school,” he said. “Last year we required our student athletes to volunteer at a local community kitchen and we always try to encourage our athletes to give back to the community and typically many do which is great.”

KSC student athletes are always giving back, Ratliff added.

“We always strongly encourage our student athletes to give back and recently the woman’s basketball team put on a car wash towards Alzheimer’s disease and many of our coaches are always encouraging the athletes to give back,” Ratliff said.

He also said he thinks the student athlete will never be at a loss in the number of ways he or she can give back.

“There are so many ways for the athlete to give back and serve their community and there are endless ways to help out and contribute.”

Cody Guerrero can be contacted at cguerrero@keenequinox.com