by Herm Rogul
Dustin Wilson, a 5’5”, 115 pound Chestnut Hill Academy junior from Society Hill, won his second Inter-Ac cross country title in an easy 16:36 over the 3.1 mile CHA course. He won by 23 seconds.
“I ran to the chute,” he said, “took my card, asked coach (Paul) Hines for my time, then watched the other runners come in. If I run for time, I break away early. I just wanted to win and score points for our team. Downhill, I made a move that no one responded to.
“Cross country is more of a challenge and it’s more natural than track. I’m not the fastest runner, but I can get into a rhythm and run distances well.”
Wilson also is a cross-city runner. Friends have told Hines they have seen Wilson running various places.
“I have run around Rittenhouse Square,” Dustin said, “along the Schuylkill, Belmont Plateau, Valley Green and to a lesser extent, Mt. Airy. I have never gotten 100 percent lost. I always get home.”
As a sophomore, Wilson swept the Inter-Ac 800, 1,600 and 3,200. He also finished fourth in the 25-lap, 5,000 meters in the Nike indoor championships in Boston.
Coach Hines, former Cardinal Dougherty and Temple star said, “Dustin’s dedication and hard work make him a winner. He is fun to be around, a pleasure to coach. Kids like him throughout the school”
“I have a sense of humor that people appreciate,” Dustin said. “I’m fairly certain most people would recognize me at CHA and Springside.”
Senior Mike Fuery, CHA second harrier” Dustin is a nice guy and a good teammate. He has a serious personality, but he also has a sense of humor. Kids like him a lot.”
Junior Johnny Hass, CHA’s No. 3: “Dustin is a class act, always there with helpful advice. He helps me with world history.”
Wilson’s favorite teachers are Iain Pollack, eighth grade English, and Mrs. Anne Rock, 12th grade English.
“I had never been a great English student,” Dustin said. “They both stressed literature and thinking. Their classes were enlightening.”
Wilson has had summer internships with Monell Chemical Center, collecting data in smell and taste research.
He lives with his mother, Pamela Harper, and grandparents Leroy and Doris Harper.
“They have a lot of faith in me,” Dustin said, “and that always is great. They give me good advice. They came to the Penn Relays and watched me run 11th in the 3K. I hope we can qualify for the Distance Medley Relay. I would run anchor.”
Mike Fuery, a 6’2,” 140 pound senior from Upper Dublin, was No. 2 man on the Chestnut Hill Academy cross country team, but he is the No. 1 French horn in the upper school orchestra.
“It’s a pretty difficult instrument to learn,” Mike said. “In fourth grade, French horn seemed unusual. Not many people play it. I’m the only French horn in our orchestra. It’s difficult to carry. A nice bus driver let me put my French horn behind his seat.”
Fuery was second to CHA junior Dustin Wilson every Inter-Ac meet, but placed fifth in the championship race after a two-week sinus problem.
“It’s beneficial running with Dustin,” Mike said. “He goes fast. We were running together against Haverford School at Haverford College. We took the wrong turn and got lost, but we finished 1-2, as usual.
“I have run a 4:34 mile. I want to run 4:20.”
To prepare for cross country, Fuery ran 600 miles this summer, but no longer than 10 miles at a time.
Coach Hines, a former Cardinal Dougherty and Temple star said, “Mike was unbeaten in the league, except for Dustin. He is a very hard worker. He grew from 3-4 to 6-2 since ninth grade and his knees used to hurt. He plays the French horn.”
Junior Dustin Wilson: “Mike has run with me since he was in seventh grade and I was in sixth. He is more of a track runner. He’s a nice guy. We’re good friends. He is not flamboyant. Mike is direct and to the point.”
Fuery is in the honors group at CHA. He will study history or science in college. He definitely will run. French horn? Perhaps.
“We have small classes here,” Mike said. “The teachers give us close attention. My favorite teacher is Mr. (Stan) Parker, history and government. He is very charismatic. Sometimes he is serious and sometimes he makes it fun.”
Fuery appreciates parents Hope and Jack sacrificing on his behalf. Sister Kristen is a freshman shooting guard at the College of the Holy Cross.
“I love her and I miss her,” Mike said. “She had to be good to earn a Patriot League basketball scholarship. If I keep growing, to 6-4 maybe, I will play basketball again.”
Johnny Hass, a 5’11,” 140 pound junior from Chestnut Hill, was third man of 27 on Chestnut Hill Academy’s cross country varsity.
He lives life cross country.
After two summers working as a barista in a Reading Terminal spot owned by pal Reuben Treatman’s family, Hass has spent two summers with the Wilderness Ventures service and leadership program.
“First year,” he said, “was on a Native Americans’ reservation in Arizona. I made friends and put smiles on people’s faces. I helped build shelters, worked on crops and helped put in an irrigation system. Second summer, I was a leader in Colorado. We did rafting and other exciting activities.”
Hass currently is singing and dancing as McGregor, a Scottish butcher, in “Brigadoon.”
Father Jay Hass runs with Johnny as he prepares for the Death Valley (CA) Marathon in December. Dad, a former soccer player at Groton, keeps up.
Johnny played midfield in soccer until 2009 CHA cross country captain Ben Morse (now at Texas) said he had a talent for running and he would enjoy the happy harriers.
Hass played shortstop in JV baseball last spring and hit over .300. Many people have suggested he has a future in golf. He won a scramble tournament with cousin Tricia Malle and two others.
Johnny and Inter-Ac x-c champ Dustin Wilson were student guides for prospective CHA students and their parents.
“We talked about our outstanding music, robotics and sports,” Johnny said, “and introduced them to teachers. My favorite teacher is Mr. (Wes) Winant, Latin. He was my adviser. He looks out for your general welfare.”
On the CHA x-c team, Hass finished 1-1/2 minutes behind Mike Furey, 2-1/2 minutes behind Wilson and ahead of 24 teammates in one race.
Coach Paul Hines, a former Cardinal Dougherty and Temple star said, “This is Johnny’s second year of running, after playing soccer. Hopefully, he will move up next year.”
Wilson: “Johnny came to us from soccer. He gave an inspiring effort. He is more excitable than Furey and I am.”
Furey: “Johnny is a good teammate. He brings a lighter personality to our team. He is pretty funny.”
Hass said his mother, Eileen, always supports his decisions and she cheers for him at meets.
“My brother Robert attends CHA middle school,” Johnny said. “He loves to make movies and I have appeared in some. We have built roller coasters. We make each other laugh.”