SMWC Cross Country team races to nationals for the third year in a row

November 9th, 2011 | SMWC

SMWC has not one, but two titles to defend at the 2011 USCAA Cross Country National Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y. The team will leave the starting line in their dust on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 at 11 a.m.

“We’re ranked in the top three,” said Cross Country Coach Danelle Readinger. “Right now it’s a very tight race.”

The championship will take place on the cross country ski course at the U.S. Olympic training facility in Lake Placid. The team, only three years old, blew the competition away at the past two nationals by bringing home both championship titles.

“We have more of a target on our back this year,” said junior Stephanie Runyon, an education major from Noblesville, Ind.

The team’s nerves are high, but their strength and dedication is even higher. Runyon said the support of the College community, from professors to classmates, goes along way to boost their confidence as returning champions.

“Anytime you defend a title there is pressure,” said Jennifer Hughes, junior, accounting major, from Lyons, Ind. “The third year in a row does add a little more.”

Junior Lauren Sutton turns that pressure into power. She gets across the finish line by using her nerves to her advantage. “You get pumped,” said the professional writing major from Noblesville, Ind. “You turn those nerves into energy.” From Kentucky to Ohio, the team, whose season began in mid-September, has trekked up and down the Midwest.
“We’ve all had our good days and bad days,” Runyon said, “but those good races will be in our heads at nationals.” They are anxious, excited and invigorated, ready to show the world exactly what Woodsies can do.

“We’re out there to do one thing,” Readinger said. “Run the best race we can.”

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