By Harold Rivera, Lynn Item
SALEM — Lynn native Eddie Bynum never imagined his track and field career would bring him any level of recognition. Bynum, a 2004 graduate of English High, knew he was a good runner and gave his best effort during each meet. As he progressed in his days wearing the Salem State uniform, Bynum started to garner attention at national meets.
Bynum’s impressive track record includes being a six-time NCAA All-American, two-time Division III 55-meter indoor national champion, three-time MASCAC indoor 55-meter champion, three-time New England 55-meter indoor champion record-holder, two-time ECAC 55-meter champion and two-time Salem State President’s Cup winner.
Bynum can now add 2019 MASCAC Hall of Fame inductee to his resume.
“I’m surprised,” Bynum, who was inducted into Salem State’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014, said. “I obviously know that when I look back at my track career I have some great accomplishments. I didn’t even know there was a MASCAC Hall of Fame. It’s quite an honor. Not everyone gets inducted into a hall of fame. To have my name placed among other great athletes is a great honor.”
Joining Bynum as the 2019 inductees are Bridgewater State softball standout Jen Goodwin, MCLA baseball coach Joe Zavattaro, Salem State administrator Jon Galaris (the school’s first full-time athletic director) and the 1985-1986 Division III National Champion Salem State women’s basketball team.
“I didn’t think or was even aware that there were any halls of fame at this level,” Bynum said. “The only halls of fame I was aware of were the ones in professional sports. I couldn’t have imagined it, but it’s a great honor to go through this process again.”
At Salem State, Bynum competed in the 55 meter dash, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and anchored the school’s record-breaking New England Alliance 4X100 relay team. He started his collegiate career with few expectations but it didn’t take him long to realize that special opportunities were within reach.
“I learned a lot more in college than in high school,” Bynum said. “In high school it was more so doing it for fun. It was like that during my freshman year in college as well. Then I went to an ECAC Meet and I realized there was a lot of seriousness to it. Fun is great but it started to turn a serious corner of competing with trying to accomplish a national championship. I didn’t even think that was possible in the beginning.”
Bynum was named the nation’s top Division III outdoor track athlete in 2007. His mental approach on the race track was a key ingredient to his success.
“I’m the type of person that’s really calm,” Bynum said. “I looked at every meet the same way. If it was a practice meet against teammates or a national meet, there was no difference. Obviously the pressure was high but I never looked at it that way. I never let the pressure affect me at all. I looked at it as another race and whatever happens, happens.
“During that first ECAC Meet my freshman year, that was the first time I was actually nervous,” Bynum said. “I had a conversation with myself and said ‘this is silly, why am I nervous?’ It didn’t help. Why treat it as different? Ever since then I decided to put nervousness to the side and whatever happens, happens.”
Bynum lives in Billerica and works for Raytheon as a financial analyst.
“I just happened to know someone in the financial field and they gave me a shot,” Bynum said. “The rest is history. Having a sports management degree, you still have to know finances. Salem State prepared me well with that. That’s why I’m still here nine years later.”