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Athletics Hall of Fame

 

Bruce Weber '79

Class of 2012

Cross Country, Track

 

Bruce Weber is recognized as the best runner of his time, both in the Independent School League and in New Englandprep schools, and the best ever cross country runner at Nobles. He was undefeated in cross country races in his Class I and II years with one exception; during a dual meet his senior year at Brooks on a badly marked course, he took a wrong turn and finished third. He later won the league championship easily on the same course. Under Bruce’s leadership, the 1977 Nobles team was 10-0 and the 1978 team was 10-1; both teams finished second in the ISL Championship meet.

 

Although Nobles did not have winter or spring track, Bruce, with the full support of the Nobles Department of Athletics, competed in many non-ISL meets during the cross-country off-season. He placed in the top seven in invitational high school mile races at major meets such as the Penn Relays and the Eastern States Championships, and won the Dartmouth Relays high school mile. He entered prep competitions and was so successful that the Nobles “team,” with Bruce as its sole member, finished third in the New England private school track championships his Class I year.  He also encouraged Nobles to join the New England Track Association, making it possible for Nobles runners to compete beyond the ISL level (paving the way, in fact, for the 2011 girls’ cross country team that captured both the ISL and the New England Division I Championships). Bruce was extremely well-respected by all runners, at Nobles and elsewhere, in part because he was a superior athlete, but also because he competed with the grace and class of a true sportsman.

 

Former coach Nick Nickerson describes Bruce’s impact on the Nobles cross country program: “He single-handedly changed and modernized the cross country program here. He came from a track family and was a technician of the sport. He took his training very seriously, paying attention to diet and other pre-game routines. In this way, he was ahead of his time as an ISL runner. Bruce was always talking with runners from other schools; he even suggested that Nobles train with Miltonon occasion so that Nobles runners would be pushed to become better. He clearly felt strongly about the camaraderie of running as a sport that required a tremendous amount of mental and physical effort.”

 

Coach Bob Kern reflects: "I had the good fortune to marvel at Bruce Weber's running exploits during his senior year and my first year as a coach at Nobles. Watching him win week after week with such impressive times, in dual meets and ultimately in both championships, instilled great confidence in his teammates and coaches. In addition, Bruce helped turn our cross country team into a real program by providing suggestions for workouts and by modeling such a strong work ethic in his own training. He inspired his teammates to excel beyond their original expectations. Beyond his excellence as a runner, Bruce was the consummate sportsman, sharing credit for his successes, befriending competitors, and helping others find enjoyment in the sport of cross country. Time has taught me that runners like Bruce come along rarely in a coaching career."

 

Bruce went on to compete at Harvard, earning 10 varsity letters. He qualified for the NCAA cross-country championship his freshman year, and was on two teams that placed third in the 10-team Heps cross-country championships (which included the Ivy League colleges plus Army and Navy).  In track, he set a university record of 8:12 for the indoor 3,000 meter run, won the 3,000 meter steeplechase for the combined Harvard-Yale team against Oxford-Cambridge, and medaled in several Heps and Greater Boston Championship meets.

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2012 Hall of Fame Bruce Weber '79