They say when one door closes, another opens. For seniors Eric Metcalf and Charlie Garcia, leaving behind their baseball and tennis careers opened many doors, not just for them but for the entire Taft community.
As juniors, Eric and Charlie joined the track team, though somewhat reluctantly; both had been cut from other sports teams. They had run previously run cross- country, so track seemed like a reasonable option.
“During senior winter, I started to think that I needed to stay in shape for spring track, but lacked the motivation to keep running,” Charlie said. “I went to Eric and said, ‘I have an idea: I need motivation to run and think I can get it from the Taft community.’ ”
That set the wheels in motion for Taft’s new running club.
“It was my idea,” explained Charlie, “but it wouldn’t have happened without Eric’s relentless support and organization.”
Six students attended the club’s first meeting on January 8. The next weekend, 13 showed up. The club continued to grow throughout the spring.
Every Sunday, club members headed to White’s Woods in Litchfield for a morning run. Eric lead the “fast group” through a six mile course. Charlie and the “slower” runners averaged four to four and a half miles.
For their senior project, Eric and Charlie organized two running events on alumni weekend to benefit Seas It, a nonprofit organization started by alums Todd '92 and Amanda McGovern '93; both were a huge success. Eric and Charlie hope both the running club and “Sweat for Sweets” will continue now that they have graduated.
“We really hope both will continue for years to come,” Eric said. “ We really started this to spread the love of running, to help people develop a lifelong passion for running and to build community. The club is not exclusive, it is about relationship building.”
And not just in the community, but between Charlie and Eric.
“Running has been the centerpoint of our friendship for the past two years,” Charlie notes. “Starting Taft’s running club propelled our friendship to a whole new level.”