Running together: Women’s cross country clenches second win and looks for third conference title

Women’s cross country aims to attain their third Golden State Athletic Conference Championship title.

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Junior Brooke Arvidson, freshman Stephanie Croy, and sophomore Lyndee Dawson run alongside other schools at the San Diego State Cross Country Invitational. | Courtesy of Allan and Jessi Kung [file photo]

Laurie Bullock, Writer

Biola women's cross country races to the front at the 2014 San Diego State Cross Country Invitational. This year the team hopes to attain their third Golden State Athletic Conference Championship title. | Courtesy of Allan and Jessi Kung

 

In the past two years the women’s cross country team has exploded onto the scene with two back-to-back Golden State Athletic Conference Championship titles. The women have their sights set on defending the title for the third time this year.

The women took the GSAC title in 2012 by 13 points and then again in 2013 by a four point margin over the Masters College. During both seasons the women took first in two of the meets leading up to the GSAC championship.

All signs point to the team having another phenomenal year. The women’s team placed first as a team in both meets they have competed in this season and at least three individual runners have placed in the top five.

“The emphasis is on the team and so no one has this individual mindset going into the race,”  senior Carrie Soholt said. “Everyone has a team mindset and when we get on the line to race they are thinking how can I do the best for the team.”

Running is often seen as an individual sport, but one look at the results from each meet shows that the Eagles run in a pack. Not one runner finishes without a partner close behind.

“If you are running for something more than yourself I think you can dig deeper,” head coach Jonathan Zimmerman said. “I think intrinsically if you are running for more than just yourself and you know that other people are depending on your effort, you’ll reach deeper than if you would run for just yourself.”

The team stays unified in everything that they do in practices and meets. While they run, they switch between sayings “stay strong” and “tall, strong and glory to God”. Soholt said that these one-liners help keep the team light-hearted focused on the goal.

“The key thing is to not think too much,” Soholt said. “We can get overwhelmed and freak out  but when we keep it light-hearted and loose I think we maintain focus better.”

The team has two more meets to prepare for the GSAC championship on Nov. 8. Last season, the women won both the Vanguard Invitational and the Biola NAIA West Coast Jamboree. If the Eagles win both meets they will go to the GSAC championships undefeated as a team.

“We need to control what we can control, we can’t control the weather or the other teams,” said Zimmerman. “We can only control how we train and doing the little things really well.”

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