By Theresa Whitfield
The women’s cross country team placed second at the Hood Open in Frederick, MD on Saturday and are now ranked sixth in the DIII South/Southeast region, which has never happened before in the history of the Catholic U women’s cross country program. While the women’s cross country team does not garner the attention of the whole student body, it is still going strong and this is made clear by the team members’ outstanding performances at their meets.
The team did very well in the meet despite the bad running conditions. In the words of junior Emily Snyder, “It was a pretty cold, rainy, and sleepy morning but none of the conditions could dampen the talent we have this season.”
Eleven teams competed, with over 100 runners in the race. Overall, the team scored 54 points, earning them second place. The scorers for the Cardinals were senior Kiera Lyons, finishing in third, followed closely behind by Paige Wilderotter in seventh, Hannah Marino in eighth, Marykate Higley in nineteenth, and Alexandra Filiault in twenty second place. This race was a personal best for both Marykate Higley and Angela Mikrut. The men’s team, also in attendance, came in third place.
This meet is the last meet of the regular season before they head to the Landmark Conference Championships on October 27th in Lebanon, PA, and then on to the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Championships on November 10th in Rome, GA. Their hard work has earned them the rank of sixth in their region. This ranking is no small feat for the Cardinals as this is the highest the women’s team has ranked in all the years of the program.
Newly hired Coach Steve Rahn spoke about his goals coming into the season.
“This is my first year at Catholic University and one of my biggest goals for the team was to instill a positive mindset and confidence in their abilities. We are changing the tone from “can’t” to “will” and always seeking out the positives in every situation. There are also no unnecessary expectations on the team at meets, and we do not focus on the end result. The team just goes out, has fun, and the end result will always speak for itself with how well they’re training” said Rahn. And his method has been very successful for the team so far.
Snyder sees the differences in the way the team has functioned in the past few years she has been on the team.
“After almost three seasons on this team, I think my favorite part is noticing that changes that make a real difference. Our training has changed, our focus has changed, and our team is more cohesive than ever before. I think the energy carrying the team is my favorite part of this season” said Snyder.
This team is one to keep an eye on this year and in the next few years to come. The athletes are hard working, talented, and know the key to success. “Heading into our championship meets, our focus remains the same” said Rahn. “Focus on yourself, do your best, and have fun!”