Monmouth Academy’s Brosnan Comeau (133) stays ahead of the competition during a meet this season. Tom Menendez photo

Brosnan Comeau said old-fashioned hard work and solid coaching culminated in him becoming Monmouth Academy’s first runner to win the Class C State cross country crown.

His spectacular season also earns Comeau the 2021 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

“Coach (Tom Menendez) has been coaching a really long time and he knows how to train the kids well,” Comeau said. “Summer training is very urgent, very important.”

“He is the first kid from Monmouth Academy to win the Class  C (state) meet and he is the first kid from Monmouth Academy to qualify to go to New Englands,” Menendez said.

The soft-spoken Comeau also a member of the Mustangs’ outdoor track team and competes in downhill skiing after two years of playing basketball.

The junior long-distance runner turned in his best-ever time of 16 minutes, 43.78 seconds at the Class C State championship in Belfast in October.

“My previous best was 16:59. I guess my hard work paid off,” he said.

“He is a super kid — very quiet, very dedicated,” Menendez said. “When we talk about Brosnan, it is almost a mirror image of he and Alexa (Allen) this year. Both (are) wonderful kids, good leaders, hard workers, showed up at every meet, every practice ready to give it their all. They set goals and figured how to do it.

“He is a quiet type of leader. He gets out and does the workout and the kids just try to tag along and hang on with him. He sets the pace. They both lead by example.”

The longtime coach said both talented Monmouth runners, Comeau and Allen, began to understand the value of course walks and strategy, “versus just running crazy.”

“I think last year’s cross country season was sort of very low key with wave starts and (competition) within conference and very small, and they didn’t seem to get the essence of what it was,” Menendez said. “When we went to the state track meet in June, it was much bigger. They got to see  kids from other schools … and they realized that, ‘Hey, you know, there is big world ahead of me that if I want to get good at this, I can really excel.’ We got together July 4 and they said, ‘What can we do to get better?’ And I said, ‘Hey, let’s start working.’

“I put them on a little bit higher mileage schedule than the rest of the team. We started going down to the track at Bates (College) once or twice a week, working on speed, working on endurance, working on strength.”

Brosnan said he surprised himself this season.

“My goal coming into the season was to beat Joe Crocker, who was a previous runner last year at Monmouth Academy,” he said. “I definitely surpassed that. I am surprised at my result and know that I can run this pace and run out there with the big dogs.

“I started winning my races and I noticed that my times had improved a lot. But this year, I started to stand out from my previous times … and I just took off. I feel I get stronger as a I run a longer distance. I am really good at endurance. I love cross country a lot more because it is more of a team aspect. I like the trails side of it.”

Menendez, though, wasn’t too surprised by Comeau’s success this season.

“Brosnan was undefeated through the conference meets,” Menendez said. “He was 21st at the Festival of Champions. He broke 17 minutes for the first time in his life. He was champion at MVCs, champion at regionals and ended up being the state champ.

“I think he was more surprised (at his success) than I was. His goal was just to be good as Joe Crocker, who was a senior ahead of him last year. I said to him after the first two or three meets: ‘That’s not a goal anymore, pal. You have gone beyond of what Joe was capable of doing.’”

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