Devine: someone who runs through pain

James Vaughn

Brandan Devine picked up more than seven different awards during his tenure at USI, including All-Conference, All Region and Academic All-American – each won four times. 

Senior nutrition major Andrew Shellah has been friends with the senior history major since their freshman year at USI.

“Unlike the other freshmen, I was a late newcomer,” Shellah said. “Because of my lateness, it was a more difficult task to make friends, or even get people to have a conversation with me that lasted more than a minute. (Devine) was the exception. Him embracing and accepting me like he already knew me meant more to me than he could possibly understand at that time.”

Shellah said Devine is extremely passionate about school.

“Honestly, I doubt the guy feels like he is working, even when he is putting in the large amounts of time and research that he does in his school work,” Shellah said. “It’s extremely impressive how he is able to read, research and succeed as well as he does despite the time constraints.”

Shellah said Devine should be very proud of all that he has done, athletically, academically and as a person.

“If I had to describe (Devine) in a couple of words, it would be optimistic, tough and consistent,” Shellah said.

Last November Devine proved that during a race for nationals in Spokane, Wash.

“It was 25 degrees and snowing,” Devine said. “About a kilometer into the race, we were making a turn down a hill while making a right hand turn. One of the guys on the inside started pushing people out, and I got pushed hard enough that I completely rolled my ankle over and sprained it pretty bad.”

At that point, his initial thought was that he would not be able to finish the race.

“Within about five seconds of it happening, I had four teammates who had been behind me run around me,” Devine said. “When they passed me, it reminded me that I’m part of a team that really needed me.”

He spent the next mile trying to figure out how to run on one ankle.

“Once I figured it out, it was just a matter of getting myself back into the race,” Devine said. “I was buried pretty deeply, but I knew that every man that I passed was one more point for our team.”

He said he was disappointed because he did not get All-American that year, but that did not stop him from being excited for the team.

“We finished sixth in the country, and that was a huge accomplishment,” Devine said. “We had great performances all across the board despite the fact that I got hurt. There is no feeling like the one you get from helping a team.”

Devine grew up in upstate New York in a small town called Middleburg. He moved to Monticello, Ind., when he was in seventh grade and played sports ever since.

“I played basketball, baseball and soccer,” Devine said. “I gave it all up just for running.”

Sports are not all Brendan does though.

“I’ve always been a very avid reader,” Devine said. “I also just love to be outside doing things. I’m not the type of guy who likes to be cooped up inside.”

He chose USI for the cross country team.

“I figured I can study history anywhere,” Devine said. “I just needed to be in a nice environment where I could run.”

Once he came down for a visit, his decision was made.

“I took a tour and talked to the coaches and realized that it would be a great place to train,” Devine said.

As graduation approaches, Devine is making plans to attend grad school but has not decided where yet.

“My area of interest is 13th-century Mongolian empires,” Devine said. “I find it absolutely fascinating. The cultural interactions and everything.”

In 10 years, he said he hopes to have his master’s and doctorate in history, to be doing his own research and to be teaching at the college level.

“Ideally, I’ll still be running competitively,” Devine said. “I just want to find a way to follow my passion, whether it be running, teaching or studying.”