Cross Country


Dan Addis Navigates the Structure of the Course

By Mark Fisher, Carnegie Mellon University

Have you ever wondered why one may turn down an athletics scholarship to compete on the Division I level to attend a Division III institution? Well, for junior Dan Addis of the Carnegie Mellon University men’s cross country team, the decision was an easy one - he wanted to focus on academics and his dream of becoming an architect.  That is why he chose Carnegie Mellon over New Jersey Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and Temple University.
In high school, Addis was always inspired by art and was an avid drawer. So while considering potential career paths, he decided that architecture was the field of work for him.  The rest is history, as the junior chose the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture, one of the top architect schools in the nation.  

“When I look at different structures, I see myself rationalizing and trying to figure out how to put the components together and what it takes to be able to create something spatial,” Addis said. “You are a lot more observant when you are in the major cities of the UAA.  I notice things and try to figure out why it is structured the way it is.  It is a subconscious situation after a few years of class work.”   

On top of class work, Addis finds time for athletic competition.  It might be difficult for the junior to mange his daily schedule but he always finds a way.  This season alone Addis has been the top Tartan runner in two meets, while finishing second on the team in another.  

“It is a difficult time to manage my daily schedule but I make it work.  It isn’t that the running hurts the school work as much as the school work hurts the running.  It comes in cycles,” commented Addis.  “Running allows me to zone out.  Under stressful movements it allows me to clear my mind and put things on hold.  It is a relaxing time away from studies.”

Last season, he bettered his time and finish at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, coming in fourth on the team and 16th overall one year after finishing 41st overall.  He will look to improve his finish this weekend when the Tartans compete at the UAA Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday.

When asked about the team this season, Addis said, “I think we are in a good position this year.  Last year we came into it with a bull’s-eye on our back being ranked high nationally in the preseason with all the returners.  We felt that everyone thought Carnegie Mellon was the team to beat.  With the exception of one race last season we didn’t live up to that and didn’t finish as strong at nationals as we would have liked.”  

Even though the Tartans lost four runners from the team that placed second at the UAA Championships a year ago, Addis feels that the team is still not getting the acknowledgment it should.

“We are actually as good of a team as we were last year.  We have the potential to turn some heads in the coming races starting at the UAA Championship Saturday.”

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