Women’s cross country relying on ‘dynamic’ to win

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Five weeks into the 2017 cross country season, the women’s team is currently ranked 2nd in their conference. This past week I got the chance to talk to three of the Cardinal runners about how the season is going so far.

What do you think is going to happen for conference?

Sarah Schalk: I think with our young team we have this year there is a great opportunity for us to mix the experience of upperclassmen with the strength of the underclassmen and perform well at conference. We’ve had a solid group dynamic from day one of practice so we are ready to race effectively and take risks as a unit.

Madelyn Scopp: I’m hoping our team maintains our high reputation at conference.

Jamie Rohn: It is hard for me to say, we are only about 5 weeks into the season. I do think that girls have been looking stronger and stronger each week. I know conference is a goal to do well in for each of us, and I think our team is strong and excited for it to approach.

Are you excited?

MS: I am very excited for the conference meet. There is going to be some good competition and it’ll be nice to be on a course that our team is familiar with.

SS: I am very excited for conference—being a senior and this being my best season thus far, I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish as well as what we accomplish as a team. Using the season so far as an indication, it will be a very exciting experience.

JR: This season has personally been one of my strongest cross-country seasons. I am very excited to see what I can do with the couple weeks that are left in the season. I am also excited for the rest of my team. They have been working hard every day and I can already see the excitement and hope in each of them for conference.

How is the team looking?

MS: The team is looking strong. This is a group of hard-working, dedicated women. It’s so fun to be around this team dynamic every day.

SS: The team has been looking great. We have a lot of young runners leading the way right now which is working very well with the experience of the upperclassmen mixed in. There is something being brought to the table from both the younger girls and the other ones which I think has provided us with a great racing energy and dynamic.

JR: We look confident. We had the opportunity at the begging of the season to share with each other our concerns and weaknesses for the season. Knowing each other’s concerns, we have been able to push each other, communicate and complement each other more than ever before. We depend on each other not only during a race, but in every workout. The routine of hard work through hills, mornings and long workouts has gotten us to the line very confident and ready before the gun.

What is the best piece of advice your coach has given you?

MS: The best piece of advice from my coach was to put the hard work in early and you will see success come throughout the season. Really pay attention to and complete the little things because they make a big difference.

SS: The best piece of advice Mahesh has given me would definitely be as simple as “persistence.” Like I said before, being a senior on the team and having my best season yet just goes to show how trusting the process of practices and competitions can yield great results and rewards.

JR: “Just because it’s negative outside, doesn’t mean we have to be.” Coach Mahesh said this before one of our morning workouts in January of 2016. I remember this because we came to practice bummed that the weather was freezing and we wouldn’t get a good outdoor workout in. He quickly changed our minds saying that weather doesn’t matter when it comes to our sport and one of the greatest parts of this sport is never letting anything get in your way and slow you down. This season with the unexpected September heat, we have learned to adjust and make the most of it. Having a sport that required a mapped course and everyday outdoor workouts, weather is important. It is equally as important to take what you have and still put your best effort and quality in your run.

Next Meet: Oct. 6, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Hosted by Benedictine University in Warrenville, IL (St. James Farm)

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