Hendrickson won’t let injury hamper career

Isabel Miller

A stress injury in his shin won’t hold back redshirt freshman Connor Hendrickson any longer. Hendrickson wasn’t able to run track or cross country for UT his freshman year because of it, but he went beyond the boundaries of UT this summer to run for Team USA.

“Anytime you have USA on your chest, you can’t take that lightly,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson said his two teams, USA and Texas, are similar.

“Here at Texas, it’s a business mentality,” Hendrickson said. “We are provided for well, and we are given everything we need to succeed. But at the end of the day, we are expected to succeed, and that’s how it is at the USA level too. We’re expected to succeed because of who you are representing and who you are racing for.”

But Hendrickson said the programs differ in their sizes.

“On the USA team, it’s awesome to interact with people from … everywhere in the United States, … but at the same time, you are only going to see these people for a week,” Hendrickson said.

But he and his Texas teammates do everything together. They train together and sweat together. Additionally, Hendrickson and his fellow Longhorns hang out with each other off the track outside of practice and meets.

“At the same time, at Texas you have a family,” Hendrickson said.

The injury-induced redshirt year, Hendrickson said, was an opportunity to help him succeed.

Entering the 2015 season, Hendrickson was prepared. When his injury healed in August, he tried out for and made the USA team. Team USA experience readied him for NCAA cross-country competitions.

“Coming into the season, I had a little mileage on me already,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson also got high-level competition and big-meet experience from competing on the USA team. He says he’s happy with his performance so far. But Hendrickson believes he has more to accomplish.

“In my mind, the season isn’t over,” Hendrickson said. “I think I can reach higher potentials.”