Emily Earl/Assistant Photography Editor Star senior middle distance runner Jesse Garn, an All-American last year, is set to enter his final season on the BU track and field team.

Senior mid-distance runner Jesse Garn, one of the best track and field athletes in Binghamton history, will be competing in his final seasons for the men’s track and field team this year, putting the finishing touches on a career that has included multiple first-place finishes at the America East (AE) and IC4A championships as well as two appearances at the NCAA championships.

Originally from Marcellus, New York, Garn began his athletic career as a football player in middle school. After only a week of practice and a prompting by a friend, Garn took his talent to the cross-country trail. Despite all the success he’s had in his career, he is adamant that nothing came easy for him.

“I was awful, I was really bad,” Garn said on his beginnings in the sport. “I was the worst guy. I was the last guy for our team the first race.”

But Garn improved, and in high school, he went on to become a state champion in the 1,000-meter his senior year, as well as finishing fifth and seventh in the mile at the indoor and outdoor State Championships, respectively.

When he was making his college decision, Garn says that Binghamton stood out to him among the other schools that he was looking at.

“I was checking out different schools, and I wasn’t sure what the right fit would be,” he said. “When I came [to Binghamton] on my official visit, I gelled well with the team and I loved the campus.”

He also got along well with the cross-country head coach and track and field assistant coach Annette Acuff. Garn cites Acuff as someone who has been very special to him here at BU and has been very influential to all of his success.

“Something not necessarily everyone finds is a good relationship,” Garn said. “Coach Acuff has been a very good role model for me. I can go to her for anything and I think that’s special.”

He also credits his teammates, and says that they have provided him with an incredible amount of support.

“A lot of my teammates are some of my best friends,” he said. “There’s a lot of pressure that goes into [the sport] and that’s something that we can relate to and talk about.”

At the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships last year, Garn took part in the trials for the 800-meter, but was disqualified in the preliminary round for a false start.

“There were a lot of write-ups and discussions when I got disqualified from the indoor meet,” he said. “So when we got to the [outdoor] championships, there was a lot of just ‘OK, don’t mess this up.’”

Garn took full opportunity of his chance at redemption. He earned a berth in the NCAA outdoor finals and finished fourth in the 800-meter event, earning himself NCAA All-America status. After winning his heat in the trials, and qualifying for the final, Garn says he had no idea what to think.

“People asked me, ‘what’s next?’” he said. “Well, I don’t know. I’ve never thought this far ahead. But I’m in it now, and that was the attitude that I went into it with.”

As for the upcoming indoor and outdoor seasons — his final ones in a Binghamton uniform — the goals are similar.

“The plan is just to advance again to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships,” Garn said. “But the big goal, which has been the big goal for so long and it’s crazy that it’s finally here, is making the Olympic Trials this summer.”

Garn has yet to make any definite decisions about his future, but knows that he wants to continue his running career.

“Obviously, I’m planning on having a future with post-collegiate running,” he said. “I’d love to run professionally and that seems to be realistic.”

But right now, Garn is trying not to look too far into the distance.

“It’s time to just settle down and focus on track,” he said. “Focus on performing the best that I can my last year of college.”