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The Tritonian

The Tritonian

Coach McGowan Runs His Fourth Boston Marathon, Now Focused on Track Season


Despite the medical scare he had back in September, NDA teacher and coach Cassidy McGowan is back to running marathons.

Last September, McGowan experienced a 99% blockage around his heart due to blood clots. He suffered a heart attack that he “very well could’ve died from.” Doctors both in town and at the MAYO Clinic have diagnosed McGowan with SCAD, Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection.

“It was a scare I don’t wish on anyone,” he said. “But I have this new-found gratitude for being able to do stuff, like run.”

After this significant heart issue, McGowan is back to running and training under the close guidance of a team of sports cardiologists.

“Typically, I do a sprint workout on Tuesday, a tempo workout at marathon pace on Thursday, and a long run on Saturday to get ready for a big race,” said McGowan.

McGowan has been running almost daily since he joined the cross-country team in 6th grade.

On April 15, McGowan ran in his fourth Boston Marathon. Under medical restrictions, he ran a 3:13. For training, he averaged 45 miles of running each week since January to get ready for the big event, covering 26.2 miles on the rolling streets of Massachusetts.

“Boston was special this time around. The fans were electric, my wife and some friends were there in person, and despite the heat, I’m happy with the time I hit. There was a moment at mile 21 when I crested the last of four significant hills on the course, this one coincidentally called Heartbreak Hill. I felt a tear of joy because I knew I was back, and I quickly reflected on this past year and God having my back, and honestly I also thought of all the support back home including those here at Notre Dame who celebrated the comeback.”

McGowan is currently signed up for the NYC marathon in November.

Aside from his own running, McGowan is one of the NDA track coaches.

“The track season is going well. The athletes come hungry to work hard and compete every single day,” he said. “Plus all are welcome so again we broke our goal of 100 athletes.”
McGowan added, “Coach Gard and I are trying to fill big shoes of past coaches like Mr. Nowak who laid the foundation for the program.”

Recently, James Flanigan and Danika Apple have broken school track and field records.

They and the other Tritons have also had past success with their season and at state. They are aiming to do the same this season as they head into the last month of their season.

McGowan said, “We want our athletes to have fun and enjoy the beauty of track and continue to participate at my age in whatever event they do, God willing. But ultimately , we want to get as many athletes as possible through Sectionals and Regionals to State.”

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Aristana Hinz
Aristana Hinz, Staff Writer
Ari Hinz, a junior at NDA, is in her first semester of writing for the Tritonian. Ari is a German Club leader. She has also managed the softball team since freshman year. Ari loves everything about sports. She is always watching or attending a sporting event in her free time. She enjoys writing sports stories the most, but she will write anything she is given. 

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