kiel carreau

Andy Coughlin is a running man, and beginning in January he will be living in Guatemala until July as part of Engineering Missionaries International (EMI).

The native of Laramie Wyoming is also a member of the cross country men’s team at Cal Poly. He redshirted during his first year of school at Cal Poly and was a walk-on to the team when he joined, despite not running competitively until he was a senior in high school.

“I ran when I was younger and took two years off because I was discouraged with it. I started back up again when I was a senior because of the recommendation of my coach in high school who was also my math teacher,” Coughlin said.

Mark Conover, the cross country coach, also believes Andy’s return to the sport was a positive move.

“He brings great work ethic and he has really come to appreciate the ability to go race at a high level,” he said

In recent years, Coughlin has won the scholar athlete of the year twice and won the Big West Conference athlete of the year.

“Andy has persevered in bringing his racing to a high level despite some injury problems over the past few years,” Conover said.

Coughlin missed a year due to a stress fracture and questioned whether he would return to the cross-country program.

“He and I have talked a lot over the last four years and I always encouraged not to forgo the gift he has been given and to stick with it and persevere,” Conover said. “Luckily he has stayed with it. He has always bounced back from injuries even stronger than before.”

Last year, Coughlin was the runner-up in the Big West Conference Championship for track in the 10,000 meter in Irvine.

In the future, Coughlin is not sure if he wants to run competitively, but says he wants to pursuer work with his degree.

“I really enjoy civil engineering. I want to use that to help people around the world,” Coughlin said. “There is a great need for infrastructure that can untimely save people’s life and help them and that is how I got involved with EMI.”

He believes there is more to running than just a way to produce a fit body, but internally as well.

“I continue running because it is an analogy of life. I learn things about life through running. So when I learn about putting myself through suffering and pain but then feel good afterwards, it teaches me to deal with the hardships of life,” Coughlin said.

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