October 24, 2013
On Oct. 12, the women’s cross country team tied for first place out of 13 teams in the Hamilton College Cross Country Invitational, which was the team’s best showing at this Invitational in five years. A star in the lineup was sophomore Adrian Walsh, who placed second individually in the five-kilometer race with a time of 17:59.5. This time is the fourth fastest recorded by a Hamilton runner in the history of the Hamilton Invitational.
A native of Bozeman, MT, Walsh knew that coming to Hamilton would be a long way from home. However, after her college counselor recommended she add Hamilton to her college list, Walsh was convinced to take a closer look. Having run cross country and track since her first year of high school, Walsh saw “Hamilton’s Division III program [as] an added appeal to the school.” She was able to asimilate to the team quickly despite missing her first year in London as a January Admit.
At the Oct. 12 meet, Walsh came in second in the individual times only to Olivia Robertson of the Ottawa Lions, who finished the five-kilometer course with a time of 17:48.4. Robertson and Walsh were the only two athletes out of 148 to finish the race in under 18 minutes.
Although Walsh was nervous before the race, she said, “I’ve learned that having confidence before getting to the start line is incredibly important. After the gun goes off, it’s all up to my body and legs to do the real work.”
Though proud of her performance, Walsh humbly added, “I try not to pay too much attention to my time; the accomplished feeling at the end of the race is far more rewarding to me.” In terms of preparing for the race, she noted that she has found Head Coach Ellen Hull’s strategy of often having the team run in packs to be a helpful way to push each other and improve each runner’s times.
Coach Hull commended Walsh for her performance earlier this month. “Adrian has had a breakout season,” she said. “She came off of last year’s track season running some personal best times in the mile and seemed highly motivated to train over the summer... I’m so proud of all her hard work and focus this season.”
Looking ahead, Walsh is hoping to improve her times as the season progresses. Her ultimate goal for her team is to qualify for the NCAA Division III Nationals, which will be determined at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championships in a few weeks. Coach Hull is also excited to see where the season takes the team and feels confident in its ability to succeed; “This year, we have the right blend of great upperclassmen leadership, good team chemistry and a bunch of talent.”
With this combination and chemistry, there is no telling how far athletes like Walsh and the rest of her teammates can go this season. The Continentals will host the 2013 New York State Collegiate Track Conference Championships this Saturday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. Depending on the results of this weekends races, Walsh and her teammates travel to Castille, NY to run at the Atlantic Regional, and then it is off to Hanover, Indiana to run at nationals.