One often ponders about the existence of unconditional love. Does that feeling truly exist, or is it just an emotion that is a figment of one’s imagination? Regardless, in life, one will encounter that someone or something that one truly has unconditional love for. Ian McQuate, a local star harrier of Waiakea High School, found that passion in running and continues to run with perpetual bliss.
McQuate was a state qualifier and medalist in track and cross-country during his four years in high school. He originally began his athletic career in playing basketball. However, to stay in shape for the hoop season, McQuate decided to join the track and field and cross-country teams. From that point on he never looked back, and thus began the road towards an athletic path in running.
Currently, McQuate is on an academic and athletic scholarship with a competitive NCAA Division II team in Florida. He currently completed his second season in cross-country and track for the Sharks at Nova Southeastern University. This past cross-country season was a nail-biter, where McQuate was part of the top five scoring team that qualified for the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championships by ONE point, which placed the Sharks among the top three teams to qualify.
Running at nationals in Missouri during the month of November was very different from running in Hawaii, where McQuate faced extremely cold conditions that was contrary to the weather in our beautiful tropical islands. Despite challenging circumstances, McQuate established a personal record for a 10K (6.1miles) with a time of 33:14, which was equivalent to a blistering 5min 21secs per mile pace. This opportunity to run at this level with 32 teams and a field of 246 elite harriers was among McQuate’s greatest accomplishments so far.
His 2016 track season was equally impressive with the opportunity to qualify and place 8th overall at the conference championships in both the 1500m and 5000m races. McQuate also had five personal best times recorded to update his running resume. He ran 2:00.38 in the 800m, a 4:02.05 in the 1500m, a 9:04 in the 3000m, and 15:44 in the 5000m.
With hard-work, dedication, and perseverance, McQuate is having continued success in running. However, what truly exemplify the type of athlete he is would be his continued efforts in the classroom. McQuate’s strong emphasis and value on education has continued into his college experience, where he earned All-Academic honors given to division II athletes ranked among the highest level of academic excellence. The result of his academic success was established well before he entered college. McQuate knew that “having good grades can be the determining factor in getting on a team and receiving good scholarships.” From his freshman year McQuate paved the way for his current success, and with his efforts in academics and athletics, his pursuit for an academic and athletic scholarship was no longer a dream but a reality.
McQuate believes that dreams do come true, and it can happen to any student-athlete if one puts his or her mind to it. McQuate noted that the emphasis in academics and participation in athletics has “taught me that hard-work, attention to detail, and consistency can be very important qualities when it comes to pursuing success.” Also, to succeed in life “time management, and to get out of my comfort-zone” are other attributes McQuate pointed out as important values to acquire. McQuate’s final words on being a successful collegiate athlete were, “working hard, running fast, and hitting times, at practice will help a lot; but so will paying attention to proper recovery, diet, sleep, hydration, strength training, injury prevention, etc.”
McQuate is one of many student-athletes that are succeeding in the collegiate realm; hence, stay tuned for more details on other former Big Island high school graduates that are paving their way towards a successful future.