Whiz Kid: Trevor Whelan
The high school senior sets his sights on goals and takes the steps to reach them.
Trevor Whelan sweats the small stuff.
He's organized and chases goals, too.
It's minutes before the Swampscott High senior and indoor-track captain joins teammates for practice the first week in January.
He's wearing spotless boots, neat rolled-up jeans and a wrinkle-free jersey.
Nearby, on the field house's rubber track, teammates train — doing sprints, runs and distance running. Some look over and smile when they pass Trevor.
He has never run a 5-minute mile in his four-year track career.
“I’m hoping to break five," he says. That would make him the fifth miler on the team to break that barrier.
He ran his best time the day before, a 5:06, so he needs to shave seven seconds to join the Big Blue mile club.
Trevor runs distance races regardless of the season and was a captain on the cross country team. He was both a vocal leader and led by example.
Distance running takes commitment, endurance and consistency, all qualities to which he gravitates. He does so much running each day that he doesn't typically feel a lot of pain while racing.
He is a steak-and-potatoes guys who keeps his desk, belongings and schedule organized.
Up before 7. School until 2:30. Practice until 4:30. Home and homework.
He earns money in the summer cutting grass and in winter — years when it snows — by shoveling.
His mom and dad are his biggest influences but he relies on his own judgement even when making tough decisions.
He has applied to 10 colleges and, as of Jan. 5, was accepted to UNH, UMass and Providence.
His favorite classes are marketing and forensics, two disciplines that require attention to detail. He has an interest in law enforcement, especially its detail-oriented detective work.
As a junior he shadowed Swampscott police Det. Ted Delano, getting a different perspective on his hometown.
It was eye opening, said Trevor, whose favorite television shows include Cops and CSI Las Vegas.
His day started at the police station.
“As soon as I got there, they were moving a prisoner," he said. "I didn’t realize there were these kinds of problems (in town)."
Those who don't know Trevor well might be surprised to find out he has a good sense of humor, says track coach Joe Tenney.
His humor is tinged with sarcasm and has a bit of Rodney Dangerfield to it, his coach said.
Trevor isn't familiar with Rodney Dangerfield. He likens his humor to the Saturday Night Live variety.
If he were to make a skit it would be on high school life.
Speaking of high school, he says he has had a good time but expects he'll be ready for the next step.
“I’m comfortable graduating," he said of the milestone.
As it turned out, Trevor reached that other milestone he was chasing.
On Jan. 25, in a track meet at the Swampscott field house, Trevor eclipsed the five-minute mark, this time pushing through pain to clock 4 minutes 59 seconds.
In a spontaneous show of support several teammates broke into a run as he approached the finish line and swarmed him after the race.
It was a goal for Trevor and for the team.
"I’ve been striving to do this since I started," he said, shortly after crossing the finish line.