Lamere Buchanan has become a primary pillar in the already sound foundation of the future of the Florida A&M track and cross country teams.
The sophomore from Glassboro, N.J., has been running cross country since his junior year at Glassboro high. His start came from being recruited by his high school track coach Bruce Farquar.
“I ran distance in track, and coach Farquar told me I should come out (for cross country) and I figured I’d give it a shot,” Buchanan said.
A track runner by nature, his first experience with cross country landed him a spot in the state championship.
“I did pretty well in cross country coming from a small school. I placed 34th in state my junior and senior year,” Buchanan said. “Indoor I won state in the 800-meter, and outdoor I won third in the same event.”
Buchanan’s career at Florida A&M almost didn’t happen. Upon being recruited, the coach was fired and was replaced by current women’s head coach Darlene Moore.
“I came down and talked to the athletic department until an interim coach came. They gave me half of my tuition for my freshman year, and coach Moore decided to keep me on.”
Coach Moore became an influential part in Buchanan’s development as a runner. The relationship he developed still continues today even with a new coach in Wayne Angel.
“I didn’t want a new coach, but Coach Angel is a cool guy and I love him a lot. He helped me develop more and got my times down to where they needed to be for me to be competitive this year,” Buchanan said with a smile.
All season, Buchanan has played second fiddle to MEAC cross country champion, Shuaib Winter.
Buchanan said no puzzle is complete without all of its pieces.
“I feel that in cross country, you can’t do it without a team. No man is more important than the other,” Buchanan said. “Every man is a piece to the puzzle. If Shuaib is first, then he might need me to get eighth and the next man to get 12th in order for the team to get a better placing.”
Creating this type of unity has him poised to make the next leap in his development.
Buchanan’s performances from this year have led to him being named to the All-MEAC team alongside of his teammate Winters.
In two weeks, both Buchanan and Winters will be headed to the regional competition. Buchanan is happy for the opportunity, but is looking to use the experience to build him up to be competitive for next year.
“I’m mainly going for the experience and to set my PR in the 8k. The regional meet is a 10k run, so the mileage and the competition level will help me up my placing.” Buchanan said. “I know we train harder than all the guys out there so I’m looking to use this experience to help get everybody on the team here next year.”