Favorite athletes: Ross Wilson, Brian Arita, Ben Heintz and all my other teammates who have inspired and pushed me over the past four years.
Favorite team: Gryffindor Quidditch Team
Favorite memory competing in sports: Winning states
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: My teammates captured on Snapchat as firefighters tore apart my car while putting out an electrical fire.
Music on iPod: 80’s
Future plans: Study computer science in college
Words to live by: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
One goal before turning 30: Get a Ph.D in computer science
One thing people don’t know about me: I’m an Eagle Scout
By GORDON GLANTZ
Tim Haas began running through Tyler State Park in Newtown when he was six or seven years old. Around the same time, he joined Cub Scouts.
It seems only fitting that Haas, a year-round runner for Council Rock North – and Univest Male Featured Athlete – would combine his twin passions for his Eagle Scout project and work toward improving an already close-to-ideal cross country course for future generations while earning his badge.
“It was mostly just trying to make it as perfect as I could,” he said, adding that planting new trees and mulch, while ironing out some rough spots, were the main features of his project. “I had been running in that park since first or second grade. I always knew I wanted to do (the Eagle Scout) project, so I talked to the park director and my coach about it.
“I got my start in Cub Scouts and became a Boy Scout in sixth or seventh grade, and it really just stuck with me. I’ve made some great friends through scouting.”
The same could be said of his 2016 PIAA Class AAA state championship Council Rock North cross country team, co-captained by Haas and Bryan Keller.
“I would describe them both as very quiet leaders, but there’s kind of a dignity the way they lead the team,” coach Dave Marrington said. “They lead more by example than with words.
“They’re both excellent students as well as high character kids. We have a sign in our weight room that says: ‘At the critical moment, we must choose what’s right over what’s easy.’ Tim and Bryan both always choose what’s right, and their leadership has set a great example for our younger kids.”
A four-year letter winner, Haas took his role of captain seriously, and credited the leaders he had as an underclassman – Ross Wilson in his freshman year and Brian Arita in his sophomore year.
“I was fortunate,” reflected Haas. “As an underclassman, I had good role models to look up to. This year, Bryan and I were the two captains. At practice and at meets, we tried to mostly lead by example – especially with the freshman. We didn’t just tell them what to do, we showed them.”
The just-completed cross country season was satisfying for Haas on many levels. Not only did his team experience remarkable success – winning both the state and district team titles, he conquered his own issues with what he termed “butterflies in his stomach” on the days of meets by altering his diet. As a result, he placed third in the league and seventh in districts. He qualified for states, placing 26th and playing a key role in his team’s state title run.
“I made it to states, and that was one of my goals this year,” said Haas, who explained that cross country is as much mental as physical. “When I cross the finish line, I liked knowing that I gave it my all, that I did all that I could and that I gave it my best.”
Haas had come a long way from starting off on the “novice team” as a freshman, before being elevated to varsity by the end of the year.
“I wasn’t thinking about it when it happened, because I was just doing the best I could,” said Haas, who was on junior varsity as a freshman during the winter indoor season but served as a varsity distance runner in the spring outdoor season.
His main indoor event is the 3,000 meters, but he also takes part in the 800. Come the spring, Haas is hoping to make his biggest dent in the 2-mile while also taking part in the mile and 800.
Marrington has relished having a front row seat for the evolution, which both hope will continue this coming winter and spring, Haas’ last at the scholastic level.
“Tim has overcome some issues with diet, and this year has been very consistent in his major races,” said Marrington. “He has also worked hard to develop a powerful kick, something he did not have last year.
“Overall, Tim has been a great teammate and a pleasure to coach. He has matured quite a bit this year, in his approach to the sport and in his willingness to communicate.”
Haas said that overcoming his stomach issues was “mostly trial and error” and “experimental.”
“Before races, I had trouble with my stomach sometimes,” he said. “Throughout the years, I got better with that. It was kind of hard to find what works. On meet days, I had to be more particular about what I eat.”
Marrington acknowledged that the senior leadership provided by Haas and Keller to a young team was key in the Indians’ ascent to the top.
“It’s critical,” the Indians’ coach said. “I’d get tired real fast if every year I had to re-invent the wheel from the beginning and how we do things. I don’t have to do that when we have leadership like Timmy and Bryan.”
While Haas is certainly zeroing in on the rest of his senior year and hopes to be buoyed by reaching states during his final cross country campaign, it was the kinship with his teammates – one of which is his younger brother, C.J., a sophomore – that made the season most special.
“I would like to thank my whole team,” he said. “We have a great team. It wasn’t just the guys who made states, but the whole team, as well as the coaches and the parents who were all so great and supportive.
“We have a small team but a large school district. There are some people on the team that I still haven’t even seen in the hallway at school. There are only like 20 of us, but we are a very close-knit pack.”
Haas plans to run competitively – and year-round – at the college level, and he is currently in the process of finding the ideal situation where he can do that while majoring in computer science.
“It’s all on the table right now,” he said of his college choices, adding a lot of the schools he is targeting are in the New England area. “There is not one stereotype – or archetype – right now. They are all on the East Coast, though, but mainly north of here.
“I’m still in the phase of applying to colleges, and I do really hope to keep running in college – and all three seasons. I don’t know what I would do with myself running only for one season.”
He said that “between scouting and running,” in addition to his schoolwork, he has not had much spare time for school-related activities.
“In elementary school, I ran for CYO,” said Haas. “I have been used to time-managing myself for a long time.”
But he still finds time to return to one of his favorite places in the world.
“The fall is fun, with the leaves falling, but I especially enjoy the winter,” he said. “It’s so much fun to run through the snow when Tyler Park is vacant.”