The Toughest Runner – Ben Hauk

Ben Hauk is a senior at Groton-Dunstable Regional High and has been running cross-country since middle school.

His love for running started when his parents Sue and Joseph along with Ben, brother Alex and sister Emily, would run local road races including the Groton Road Race and the Ayer Fire Department’s Turkey Trot. “My parents were not really serious runners but they enjoyed taking part in the events and it was fun. In sixth grade, I ran on the cross-country team with Coach (Mark) Hennelly and enjoyed the atmosphere around the group of runners and making new friends.” I took to competitive running on my own after sixth grade,” smiled Hauk.

gdrhs-ben-hauk-photo“Ben Hauk leads by example,” shares GD math teacher and running coach, Angus MacDonald. “He is not loud but sets standards by being at practice every day, giving everything he has and leading the entire team through workouts. As captain of both cross-country and indoor track teams, Ben is a role model for all of the younger guys on and off the track. Although he is the shortest member of our team, I am pretty sure everyone looks up to him.”

“I enjoy being captain because it allows me to work with the younger kids, especially the freshmen, showing them what I have learned and the little things that help them get better” related Ben.

Along with track and cross-country, the Groton-Dunstable senior keeps busy with honors and AP classes, gymnastics club team practice three days a week, Boy Scouts and winter meets on weekends.

Ben will attend The College of William and Mary next year with plans to major in chemistry. He hopes to try out for the gymnastics team and continue his running.

“My classes at Groton-Dunstable have been challenging, in particular the AP classes but it’s under control and I feel I have been well prepared for college.”

GD faculty member Tamara Allen commented. “He is both a talented young man and an extremely dedicated student. He clearly has a natural aptitude for the sciences, but is always hard at work, trying to take his understanding to a deeper level. Never content with just being able to get the right answer to a problem, Ben consistently discusses with his peers and asks poignant questions until he truly understands every aspect of the topic.”

Ben, a Boy Scout since fifth grade, is working on Eagle Scout and must earn 21 merit badges and perform a service project of significant value to the community. All requirements for the Eagle Scout must be complete before his 18th birthday, which for Ben is February 8. His project involved building two bridges in McLains Woods, one of the conservation areas in Groton.

Math Department Chair Jon Conlon has had Ben in four math classes and knows him very well. “The first words I think of as a student are hard working and enthusiastic. It is obvious that Ben enjoys math, and wants to be as successful as he can be. He is serious but not to the point that he doesn’t enjoy what he is doing. He is quiet, capable and actively contributes in class.”

Other outside of school activities include volunteering at the Groton Road Race, helping setting the flags along Main Street for the Memorial Day ceremony, working with other scouts on their Eagle projects.

Regarding the Toughest Runner: The Award was given this year to Ben by Cross-Country coaches Angus MacDonald, Paul Killiam and Ken Magliozzi. The criteria: consistently performing at a high level, a valuable member on the team, demonstrates leadership qualities and excellent team spirit, consistently shows a positive attitude and enthusiastic approach, has had excellent attendance at practice/meets and is always a strong representative of GDXC and Groton-Dunstable Regional HS.

It is apparent that Ben has shown by his work ethic in and out of school and through his athletic accomplishments, that he exemplifies the characteristics synonymous with the award.

Special thanks to Robert Mingolelli for writing this piece.