Salute to Seniors: Camden Gilmore

Camden Gilmore said that completing the "Triple Crown" at the MIAA Outdoor Championships as a senior was his proudest running moment of his high school career. Gilmore came back from a 9:18 3200 and a 4:14 1600 to clock a personal-best 1:54 800 to complete the feat. (Photo by Craig Amoss)

Loyola-Blakefield has produced an incredible line of distance runners throughout recent years. From his freshman year of cross country - when he broke 17 minutes at NXR Southeast - he has been one of the top runners in his class. Gilmore won his first MIAA title during his junior indoor season when he ran a 9:46 3200 and added six more titles on the track over the course of his career. Gilmore represented Loyola-Blakefield and the state of Maryland on the national level at New Balance Nationals and the Penn Relays. He will transition to competing at Georgetown University on the collegiate level next year.

Gilmore competes in the 3000 meter run at the Penn Relays this past spring.

Name: Camden Gilmore

School: Loyola-Blakefield High School

What was your most memorable race moment?

Writing these final words floods my head with memories of the past four years. I never really took the time to think about how I used to be one of the intimated freshman who looked up to the seniors, and now I am one of them. Immediately I think of Georgetown Prep Invitational as my most memorable freshman year team race. Everyone in the top seven had a great day, the weather was perfect, and our team came out on top. The whole 3.1 miles felt like a victory.

As great of a team experience as that was, my most memorable individual race will always be crossing the line for the 800 at the 2019 MIAA Champs. There was a lot of pressure riding on me during the hour and a half break between the 800 and 1600, but at the same time I felt calm. I had already finished the 1600 and 3200, the two distance events I had spent weeks thinking about, but the 800 was kind of the cherry on top. I thought of guys like Matt Jablonski, who had won the triple crown years earlier, so it made the accomplishment an elite status. I remember crossing the line filled with so many emotions since it was my last individual race of my high school career, followed by some of my best friends crashing the track to jump on top of me. It was a moment I will cherish forever.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

My biggest competitor: Justin Diehl. I knew of the name after my first cross country race freshman year. He was the freshman phenom in my eyes. We did not battle much because we were in different conferences, but I always kept an eye on him when we shared an occasional invite. Coming up on the spring of Junior year, Justin reached out to me and asked about going on a run on the B&A trail. 

A few days before I got that text we had found out that we, along with Garrison [Clark], had qualified for the Penn Relays 3000. We definitely found a connection in that because we all knew each other pretty well and were all in the same class looking at some similar colleges. Over the months, Justin and I continued to meet up at the B&A trail, cool down after our races, and even manage to get lost on a long run at Oregon Ridge. We found a way to make our competition help us both get better.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was winning my heat in the 2 Mile at New Balance Indoor Nationals. I executed the race exactly how I wanted to and set myself up in a great position to get top 6 going into the final heat. However, the night before went all wrong. We had a 4xMile the day before and were all a little tired from that, so we got back to the hotel a little late, I could not find a good place to eat dinner to save my life so I chowed down a bunch of pizza, and I lost an hour of sleep that night because of Daylight Savings. All I did was keep calm and constantly tell myself that the most important piece was my training, and nothing could take away the hard months I had invested into running that 2 Mile. Unfortunately, I placed 8th and missed All-American by two spots, but it was a great experience and I would never change the race that I had in the Armory.

Gilmore and the rest of the Loyola Dons after winning the MIAA XC title.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

My most difficult obstacle was the 2019 Arcadia Invitational. I qualified for the fast heat in the 3200 with some of the best names in the country. The race has a history of helping dozens of high schoolers to break 9 in the 3200. It was my fourth meet in nine days, I traveled for six hours the day before, and I raced at midnight ET. It was probably my worst race of the season, but I congratulated myself on going through the mile at 4:30, something way out of my comfort zone. I truly believe Arcadia was a huge opportunity to prepare myself for the upcoming years in college.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss Coach Albornoz and Coach Cucuzzella. I will miss long runs and grueling workouts with Kyle, Connor and Ronan. I will miss senior day on our home course. But I know there are great things in the future. I credit a lot of my success to guys like Max Barbour and Kenny Rowe who gave me a lot of advice for training and would always show up to work hard. I hope to be able to come home to practices and run with the younger guys and push them to make them all the best that they can be.

My biggest piece of advice is to be consistent. Whether it is with long runs, lifting, diet, you can never fail yourself with being consistent. It will force you to be driven even on your worst days. When all the obstacles try to slow you down, that is when consistency will always trump the difficulties.

What are your college plans?

I will be running Cross Country and Track at Georgetown University in the fall. I fell in love with the school the first day I stepped on campus and loved everything about my visit there. I know that I have lots of room to grow and trust Coach Bonsey with transforming me into the best runner I can be. I can't wait to train with a great recruiting class and feed off of each other's hunger to be the best.

Who would you like to say "thank you" to?

I want to thank my coaches for always putting my needs first, whether it was a day off for sore knees or moving the practice time so that we could all make it. Coach Albornoz and Coach Cucuzzella always pushed us as hard as we could go without crossing the line. I want to thank my dad for doing whatever he could to make me a solid runner. His knowledge of the sport always impresses me and I am lucky to have him as a guide in the sport and in life.

I also want to thank my mom. I could always count on her to be in the most difficult places on the courses to give me a "Great job Cam!" and maybe take a picture or two. Finally, for everyone in the Loyola community: my teammates, Mr. O'Kane, John Davenport, etc. It is a very special community that helps each other in ways beyond words.

Roll Dons Roll