The Hillsdale College women’s cross country team took second place at the Lucian Rosa Invitational in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sophomore Liz Wamsley scored third place overall with a time of 22:40.2, followed by junior Claire McNally taking seventh place with a time of 22:59.1.
McNally said while it wasn’t a record-breaking run for her, she is proud of how she did, especially during the beginning of the race.
“I thought it was a solid performance for me,” McNally said. “For where we’re at in the season and the terrain that we were working with, I was really happy.”
The course had more hills than the one the Chargers ran on last week. McNally said her coach prepared the team by warning them about the hill at the beginning of the race and the various hills at the end.
“The last mile was really tough,” McNally said. “It was kind of like winding through the woods and hills were just sneaking out of nowhere. I was really tired by the last mile so that was a difficult part.”
McNally was also proud of herself for following the plan that the coaches had laid out prior to the race.
“Even in the last mile when I was really hurting I was happy because I was able to hold on pretty well and not fall back or give into it,” McNally said.
Head coach Andrew Towne said he was pleased with the team’s performance, and that he wants the team to be able to demonstrate what they’ve learned from their previous races.
“One of the things we’re always looking for is improvement,” Towne said. “We definitely still have more that we can improve upon, but it was markedly better than the first one. We always want to compete really well, regardless of where we’re at in the training cycle, and I thought overall we did a better job with that.”
Towne said Wamsley, who was the first to finish among the Chargers, has bounced back from her injury last season, and is now excelling.
“She’s someone that had a really good freshman year, finished up the outdoor season on an injury so she didn’t get a full chance to show who she was, but she’s come right back and picked up where she left off last cross country season,” Towne said.
One of the team’s goals for upcoming races is for each runner to keep about 10 seconds behind the teammate ahead of her.
“One of the things we talk a lot about as a team is trying to run outside of yourself,” McNally said. “I can see my teammates ahead of me and I know they’re right behind me and trying to think about them and how hard they’re working and wanting to work hard for them.”
For their next meet, the team will be splitting to race at Notre Dame and Lansing Community College on Oct 1.
Towne said the team is working to prepare for the championship season.
“We just want to continue to improve,” Towne said. “This is our last regular season meet before championship season, so ideally we put together a really good performance that shows what we’ve learned each week but also instills a lot of confidence as we move into championship season.”