Berry making splash as freshman

Tom Berry, a freshman runner on the men’s fall cross-country team and spring track team, knows what it takes to win in different types of meets.

Running is a year-round commitment for Berry, who emphasized that as the basic criteria for a successful running season. A truly successful runner recognizes the importance of relentless training.

“If I don’t train, I know somebody that I will be competing against is training,” Berry said.

Berry said that consistency is an important goal for any runner to work towards, as a consistent runner is more likely to avoid faltering during the long season.

This was never more evident in Berry’s running than during first semester, when he regularly kept his time in the 8000-meter in the 26-minute range with a season’s best time of 26:02.42 at the FIU Invitational. His performance in that race earned him a second place finish.

Berry was initially a baseball player back in high school, but over time he realized where his best chance to compete in college was. His realization and eminent switch to competitive running was necessary, but he will always remember his baseball days as immensely enjoyable.

“I wasn’t very good [at baseball],” Berry said. “I still enjoyed playing it when I was younger, however.”

The two opponents that Berry looks forward to facing the most are Villanova and Georgetown, because there are old high school rivals of his that participate on the track programs at these respective schools. He has also revealed that there are some old high school rivals that he will be pitted against when the University of Miami’s entire athletic program moves to the ACC in the 2004-2005 school year.

Berry began his running career during his freshman year at Westhill High School in Stamford, Connecticut, where he not only honed his craft as a skillful runner, but also realized his passion for movie producing.

Along with his many accolades in running, including being named the Most Valuable Player on his cross-country team and the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Championship at the 1,600 meters (4:21), he has received awards for his expertise in film.

Berry’s fascination with film originated in his middle school years, where his blossoming passion for visual arts was encouraged by a teacher-initiated History Day. During History Day, Berry and a few of his friends developed a short film that, at the time, was nothing more important than a good grade. Shortly afterwards, however, Berry realized that he wanted to be a filmmaker at some point in his life.

Berry was honored at the Director’s View of International Film Festival, where his film Fragments of Recollection finished in second place. His other independent film, Divination, received sixth place honors at the Marco Island Film Festival.

Berry’s enthusiastic and realistic attitude towards his track and cross-country exploits and academic endeavors shows that he has the makings of a true champion in both collegiate competition and the film industry.

Larry Nolan can be contacted at