Athlete of the Issue: Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff


Jerry Sheng ’20

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff ’19 tackles a hill at home cross country meet.

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff ’19 is co-captain of the Cross-Country team and has been running with the team since his Prep year. Andrew is also an active member and co-captain of Track and Field during the Spring season. Kostia Howard ’20, said, “He’s a very motivated runner and very dedicated to the team. He always pushes me to run faster.”

When did you start running cross-country?

I started running cross-country in 6th grade at the request of my father. I had tried out for the soccer team, and I didn’t make the level I wanted to. He sat me down one night and asked me to try running. He had done [cross country] when he was in school and continued casually ever since. I was reluctant at first, but I [have] learned to love the sport and never really looked back.

What do you enjoy most about cross country?

I love running with the other members of the team – I love the conversations we have, the struggles we go through together; it’s a great bonding experience! You get to know them really well, and it’s quite unique – when everyone is going through [tough times], they get quite talkative.

Did your parents ever expect you to take running so seriously?

My parents really wanted me to continue running after I tried it out. I don’t know if they ever saw me running through high school as competitively as I have been, but they’ve always been there to support me, every step of the way. [They are always] coming to meets, talking to me about whatever issues I might have, helping me work through stuff so I can be at the top of my game come race time. I know that I can count on their wisdom, their advice, and their continued love and support.

Do you have any other people who inspire you to keep running?

One of the Seniors my Prep year, Marco Quaroni [’16 was an inspiration]. He was a captain of the team and, coincidentally, also my proctor in Garland. His attitude, his mentality, [and] his energy really kept me going through the start of cross-country my Prep year. I was really struggling with the increase in intensity, going from middle school to high school, and I got injured at the beginning of the season and I was feeling down about that. But he convinced me to keep training in any way I could, to keep bettering myself both physically and mentally.

What was your toughest challenge as a cross-country runner?

During my Lower Mid year, I experienced a few different injuries that were holding me back from competing and training – and it was difficult. I could see everyone else going out there, running the races, going on long runs, pushing on the workouts, and I had to sit back and wonder why I wasn’t doing anything [to help the team]. The weeks that I had missed made me appreciate being able to go out and run just that much more – and I haven’t lost that appreciation.

Do you have any traditions to prepare you for a cross-country meet?

In the hours or so before a meet, I’ll notice my turtle necklace.  I’ll look at it and think about it for a little while – it reminds me to keep running, to put everything I have, all the energy I have, into the race. I don’t remember when I got [it]; I don’t really remember why, but it’s what I think about when I’m in the middle of the race – what tells me to keep going, to run a little bit faster.

Do you have any advice for those just starting to run cross-country?

When it really comes down to race day, all that matters is your mentality.  To new runners, be they young students or people trying the sport for the first time – it’s definitely a tough time both mentally and physically. What’s important is to continue going. Most people don’t see improvement in the first few days, weeks, or even sometimes years, but they can turn out to be the best runners. Committing to something and sticking through the bad times will make you appreciate the good times a little more. No matter what you have to go through, just keep going – that’s pretty much the entire sport right there. Just keep running.