By Adrian Jauregui
“It’s been David Torrence all summer long,” said the commentator of the 2015 USA Track & Field 5k Championships. Loyola alumnus David Torrence ‘03 has been making news this year with a string of professional wins.
A member of the 2002 CIF State Title winning cross-country team, David Torrence was the second fastest man on the team only to 3200–meter record holder, Mark Matusak ‘05. “David was always super talented but he had the misfortune of coming to Loyola at the time Mark Matusak was here,” said cross-country Coach Lalo Diaz.
Torrence continued to improve during his senior year and beat Matusak in the CIF Track & Field Finals 1600–meter race. Torrence graduated in 2003 and went on to run collegiately at UC Berkeley.
“When I graduated college, I knew I wanted to give it a shot,” Torrence said at the end of his college career, thinking of his prospects of succeeding in the professional running circuit.
After a year of running unsponsored, Torrence landed his first professional contract with Puma. Torrence soon began running for Nike with whom he stayed with for five years (2009-14). The running shoe brand Hoka One One signed a contract with Torrence just last year, and he has been running for the brand for all of this year’s season. Torrence’s sponsors allow him to train full-time and become as good an athlete as he can without worrying about external costs.
Torrence has been running on the professional track & field circuit for six years and has claim to the 1000-meter American indoor record (2:16.76) and 4×800-meter American indoor record (7:13.11).
Torrence has competed in a variety of races, ranging from 800–meters to 5000–meters this season. He won several races and earned a silver medal at the Pan American games, a track meet where both North and South American athletes compete.
In the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships on June 28, Torrence ran a 13:52 5k, placing him fifth. Torrence raced another 5k at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada on July 25 and finished second, earning a silver medal, with a time of 13:46.6.
He went on to race at the lower distances. He won the Hoka One One Long Island Mile on Sept. 9, where he ran a 3:53.91, a near personal best. Four days later, Torrence went on to finish sixth in the 5th Avenue road mile with a time of 3:56. A week later, he placed first in his most recent race, the 2015 USATF 5k Championship with a time of 13:56.
Coach Diaz recounted Torrence’s early potential by saying, “I knew that he had the ability to run those times. It was just a question of his believing he could do it.”
Torrence said he has an “overall goal of making the 2016 Olympics” in Rio de Janeiro. He will start training seriously in November. The american record holder still comes to support the Cubs whenever he can; at a cross–country league meet, he reflected upon the impact that his Loyola experience had on his career. “It really taught me how to push myself and how to dig deep,” he said.
His training left an indelible mark on him, “I’m not only training to be an athlete here. I’m training to be a better man, a man for others,” he said.