Harvard Bound: Luke Laverdiere Headed To The Crimson
The state's top distance runner has made his college decision early as the two time Class B state cross-country signs with Harvard to continue his academic & athletic career next fall. We caught up with Luke on Thursday night once he was finally able to announce his decision to the rest of the world.
Why did you choose Harvard - what made it rise above the others? Out of all the schools I was looking at, I was drawn to Harvard the most not only because of its world-renowned academics but also because everyone I met there was very humble and down to earth. When I first arrived for my visit there earlier this fall, I was worried that there would exist a sense of elitism among the students, but I was greatly appreciative when I discovered how engaging and respectful everyone was. The culture at the school is different than many people think and I felt more comfortable there than anywhere else I visited.
Why did you decide to commit early? I decided to verbally commit early because quite honestly I wanted to get the whole process over with as soon as possible. Also, considering most college coaches want their recruits to apply early action or early decision, having the choice to commit in late October was ideal. It's very reassuring to know that I can now relax and enjoy the rest of my senior year at Yarmouth while maintaining good grades and digging down deep in my training.
What are you looking forward to most about Harvard? Out of all of the things Harvard has to offer, I'm most excited about the people I'll be able meet there. I find it amazing to think that I'll be classmates and even roommates with people that will potentially change the world. It's virtually a microcosm of intellectualism at Harvard and I'm incredibly humbled to have the chance at contributing to it. I thank God everyday that he has blessed me with this incredible opportunity. He has given me so much mental strength over the years and provided me with faith that I can do anything I set my mind to. That is something I pray I'll never forget.
What do you plan to study? I am undecided about what I want to study at the moment, but I imagine I'll end up studying government or environmental science considering I'm passionate about both. I'm also interested in history and philosophy, but I likely wouldn't pursue those areas as main focuses.
When you were making your college choice what were the most important things to you in making your decision? I wanted the people I was going to be surrounded with everyday to be students first, with running serving as a close second. Having worked very hard in school for the past four years, finding a school with a strong academic background was the most important aspect for me. That being said, I wanted to find a rising program that would have the potential to go far in the NCAA. With the recruits Harvard is bringing from around the nation this year such as David Melville from North Carolina, Anthony Giannobile from Michigan, and Jordan Weston from Ontario, I truly believe Harvard is the up-and-coming program not only in the Ivy League but in the division as a whole. The new assistant coach Alex Gibby is working very hard to assemble a squad that will put Harvard athletics right up there with top running schools from around the nation, so it's great to be part of the building process.
What was the recruiting process like for you? It started off pretty slow during the summer before my junior year. After receiving recruiting letters from various programs around the country, I sent out emails to coaches with questions about the institutions they represented. From there, I kept in touch with them about important races I had participated in and updated them on any new personal bests. It definitely picked up in pace this past fall as I took off on weekends to my official visits, but after reflecting on it, I don't think the whole process could have gone any smoother.
What other schools did you consider? I was heavily considering the US Naval Academy, Dartmouth, and West Point, but I also toured Columbia, Georgetown, and Virginia last spring to see what else was out there. It was definitely a tough choice, but I have no doubts about the decision I made in the end. I'm really looking forward to the next four years.