Howland’s Mauri remains busy preparing for ASU

Vinny Mauri rarely lets anything faze him, or even come close to him and finishing first in a 3.1-mile distance race.

Mauri and the other runners endured an uneven running surface at the state cross country meet Nov. 10 at National Trail Raceway, a place where NHRA drag races take place in the summer. Frigid winds blowing across the course changed multiple times and runners tried to avoid as much of the mud as possible.

Mauri, a Howland High School senior, didn’t want any of that as an excuse. He wanted to run and run well in this setting. It didn’t happen for his standards, as he finished fourth in the Division I race.

The Arizona State University signee didn’t have time to wallow in his misery. He had something more in his sights the next day, the Nike Cross Nationals Regional in Terre Haute, Indiana, a four-hour drive west on Interstate 70.

He finished fourth there and is headed for the Nike Cross Nationals Dec. 1 in Portland, Oregon, the home of distance racing and the godfather of the sport — the late Steve Prefontaine.

“I was very driven to prove myself and everyone else in the midwest that I can come back and do something amazing even after racing the day before,” Mauri said. “It means the world to me to go to the (Nationals). It has always been a major goal and dream of mine.”

Mauri is running in the Foot Locker Cross Country Midwest Championships this weekend in Kenosha Wisconsin.

At the Nationals the following weekend, he’ll see his ASU coach Cory Leslie, a former standout Ohio runner, in Portland.

Mauri wants to achieve much more in his distance career when he becomes a Sun Devils runner.

“My major goal at ASU is to eventually get a national title and to end up going to the Olympic Trials,” Mauri said. “I think that I can fill in a spot that the graduating seniors will leave open.”