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Thomas Kressley: running into the record books

Photo Credit: theokphotos

By Tyler Sadler | Staff Writer

Thomas Kressley is officially in the SUNY Brockport record books. The junior runner broke a school record in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:29.72 seconds. This is a record that stood for 45 years.

“When I got here, I always wanted to break that record. I have honestly been looking at
it for a long time and said I could probably break that record,” Kressley said.

Kressley started running when he was in seventh grade. He had his eye on playing other sports but his love for running is what really drew him into the sport and made him want to continue.

“I started because I wanted to stay in shape for basketball. But it slowly turned into something that I enjoyed way more than bas- ketball. The camaraderie between everybody kept me in the sport,” Kressley said.

Kressley credits cross country head coach John Davis as his reason for not only coming to Brockport, but continuing his track and field career.

“It’s been cool to get to know Coach Davis a lot better after the three years I’ve been here. I think he does a really good job of letting his athletes talk to him about what they need, and also what he thinks we need,” Kressley said. “It’s a really good dynamic
he has with everybody. It’s not just certain people, he really talks and takes into account everybody on the team.”

Kressley was Davis’s first recruit when he took over the program in 2019. Being togeth- er since then, they’ve been able to develop a close relationship.

“We stayed really engaged through the recruitment process and I even went and saw him play basketball his senior year since he didn’t do indoor track. I made him a lot of promises of what I thought we could help him do and the program we could build here if he came and it’s been really awesome to watch him live out a lot of the things we talked about when we were recruiting him,” Davis said.

Davis being able to see Kressley break the record he’s been striving to break for so long was fulfilling.

“My reaction was just a lot of pride in him and the work he put in to get the record. I know it’s been on his mind for a while and I know the journey it took to get to that day, so I was just super proud of who he’s become in that process,” Davis said.

Kressley was also awarded All-Region Athlete honors this past season. Kressley called his 3000 meters school record his most proud accomplishment in his track career. But being team oriented, he also has enjoyed seeing the way the team has grown.

“Thinking back to freshman and sophomore year we were all separated, and it was a click-ish kind of team, but this year everyone has bonded together over cross country, and it’s really brought everybody together. Seeing that the last three years has made me pretty proud to be part of this team,” Kressley said.

Senior Sean Killip has a close relationship with Kressley. They both came to Brockport at the same time and have been doing the same training and practicing since then.

“He’s always been someone I can go to for support,” Killip said. “He carries himself differently. He has a lot more confidence. He sets higher and more challenging goals. However, he’s still T, the same great person. The same friend who can always make you laugh. Brockport distance run- ning has improved a lot and we are a part of that. Thomas recognizes this and he doesn’t take it for granted.”

From not even knowing he wanted to become a runner to breaking a four- decade long school record, it truly has been an incredible career so far for Thomas Kressley.

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