Flying to the finish line

Cross country has come ready to run the race of the season! They have already dominated two competitions. At the Flyer/Flames Challenge they placed second and at the National Catholic Invite, they placed first in NCAA DII and third overall, earning them 65 points. 

Sophomore accounting major, Madilyn Calloway, is pumped for the team’s upcoming meets. Something that a student-athlete has had to get used to is the demand it takes to balance “the schedules of classes, practices, homework and hanging out with friends,” Calloway says. 

The work that goes into it has definitely been a challenge, but Calloway mentioned that “after getting into the hang of everything, it is all so much fun!”

Practices look different for each athlete, but Calloway described what they generally consist of. A typical practice involves drills, a warmup and a workout. She described the drills as “standing and walking dynamics.” They use this time to get their bodies ready for the miles they have to run.

The warm up is usually a two mile run, but the workout varies from day to day and it is different for every athlete. For example, right now Calloway has an individual goal of “50 miles a week, with my longest run in a day being about 11 miles!” 

Freshman and exercise science major Ava Geiger also explained why each athlete has a different number of miles to run. The “amount of miles the athletes run depends on the events they specialize in and what their bodies can handle in that given week.” For example, those who specialize in longer distances will run the most on the team. 

Ability can change throughout the season, too. An “incoming freshman will run the least because they are just coming out of high school where mileage was very low,” says Geiger. However, the longer they get used to the collegiate level, the more miles they can stack up. Mileage will also be low if an athlete is coming back from an injury or is prone to injuries. 

For Calloway, the hardest part of her sport is “the little things that go into staying fully healthy, recovering, and being able to perform to the best of our ability.” Recovery is huge for runners since they put so much on their legs every day. 

Geiger added that the athletes focus very heavily on rehydration and electrolytes as well as rolling out and stretching, just as every athlete should do. Additionally, Geiger explained how “every Sunday when we go to Waterfall Glen for our long runs, the coach has a trunk full of chocolate milk, liquid IV, water and snacks for us to fuel with right after.” 

Recovery is important to prepare for upcoming meets, too. The runners must make sure their bodies are 100 percent before they go into the race. Before each meet, Calloway not only makes sure her body is ready, but also her mind, saying, “I go to bed early, drink lots of water, and listen to music to stay relaxed and calm my nerves in advance.” She also said that, for each meet, she makes sure to braid her hair.

The cross country team is always seen together around campus. They practice together, eat meals together and hang out with each other. Calloway was quick to say that her teammates are the ones who inspire her the most when she runs. “We all work very hard and push each other to be successful, which I find to be very important. My teammates are some of my best friends, so to be able to share accomplishments with them and see our hard work pay off together is a really special feeling.”

Cross country’s next race is the Lewis Crossover Meet on Oct. 7!

Photo Credits: Lewis Athletics

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *