RALEIGH, N.C. - The Avenging Angels completed a strong regular season schedule this fall and look now to the USA South Championships slated for Saturday, November 2. The women's race begins with a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start at Hagan Stone Park near Greensboro.
As Illa Jones and her team prepare for the final events of the season, the Meredith College cross country sophomore contributes the third installment of her blog series - On the Road to Regionals.
So conference is in less than two weeks and Regionals less than four. No big deal, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. Conference is always a big deal, but this year we are ranked first. This could be the first time ever Meredith cross country wins the conference championship!
This past weekend we got a little sample of some of our competition at our CNU meet up in Virginia running against Peace and Mary Baldwin. But let me tell you. We crushed them.
We came in fifth overall, competing against some DI and DII schools! One of the DIII schools there was Johns Hopkins, and they must have been supernatural. Both the men's and the women's teams got a perfect score! I didn't know that could even happen in college! I felt so honored to even be running behind them!
We performed well and helped our spot for the conference standings; our coaches were very proud of us. Although this was a competitive meet, this is nothing compared to what Conference has in store.
Not only is Conference a big deal in and of itself, but the night before that is Cornhuskin' and the night before that is Halloween! You can count me out of any Halloween celebrations that Thursday, but I can't miss Corn! That's the biggest event at Meredith College!
It's been rough practicing every day for about an hour and a half at cross country and then hopping over to Corn practice at nine for an hour or two every day. But I know it will be worth it. I just make sure to plan my days very well and get enough rest.
Coach Amy is nice and completely understands if I need to move a morning practice to the afternoon or vice versa because of a conflict. Tackling both corn and cross country isn't completely impossible. I just hope I don't suffer in Greensboro at the conference meet because of all my ah-mazing dance moves at Corn the night before. I will make sure to run to my bed right after it ends.
The next day will be the challenge of the greatest meet of my college career (okay I like to over exaggerate).
This is how I envision Conference this year: First, we do what all runners do to opponents – you ask them how their trips were and that you like their shoes and those other fake comments that just bring your nerves down.
When the gun goes off, no more Ms. Nice Girl. The hulk bursts out of all of us little Angels. We sprint to the first curve so that we don't get boxed it. If we do get boxed in, the girl with the awesome braid has got to go so she will get elbowed out of the way. Then as the race continues, I look for my pack.
We all fight to stay with our pack, pushing ourselves every step. The best part of running in this pack is "zippering" around the other runners saying, "Yea, you can stare at my wings now!" We stride over the hills and around that lake without falling in. And then when we're at that last hill and there feels like nothing left to give, we're going to see Coach K so excited. He really just seems scary, so we run faster just to get away. But hey, it works! We spring to the finish line and win conference. Yay!
Okay, so maybe it won't happen quite like this, but I know that we will be awesome. Coaches Amy, K and Barnes have prepared us so well for every aspect of this race. We are all both physically and mentally strong enough. Wish your MCXC Avenging Angels luck!
Fans are a welcome part of the USA South Cross Country Championships. Link here for directions to Hagan Stone Park.