By VICTORIA MUNEVAR
Maggie Larkin, a sociology major in the Special Education program, is a freshman on varsity cross country. She has had first-hand experience with jumping into a varsity sport straight out of high school. Larkin ran cross country at Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA, she made it to regionals and states during her time there. At the UMW cross country opener, she led the women’s team with a third place finish at 15 minutes and 10 seconds.
When asked if there is a difference from cross country in high school and in college, she said that she did not feel like there was any real difference.
“The main difference from high school cross country and college cross country is probably the training, but it doesn’t seem to be too different so that’s really nice,” said Larkin.
According to Larkin, balancing cross country and classes can get hard at times, but as long as you go to study hall and get all your work done, it is manageable. However, she does have a busy practice schedule.
“A typical week for me is normally a recovery run on Monday, a maintenance run on Tuesday with some strides after, on Wednesday we have a workout, Thursday is another recovery run, Friday is a maintenance run, Saturday we either race or moderate running if you aren’t racing, and finally Sunday is our long run,” Larkin said.
Larkin also has a whole team for support, on and off the field. “We also have weight lifting every Monday and Wednesday morning… This schedule is based off when we race,” said Larkin.
Her favorite part of cross country is the team community. “Everyone is always there for you and cheering you on the whole way,” she said. Larkin also has a lot of guidance from the upperclassmen on the team.
“I am so lucky with the upperclassmen, they have prepared me very well for what college running is like and how classes would be,” said Larkin.
She does believe that there is some added pressure when it comes to performing well in the classroom and in the races but it is not a major issue. She also believes that there is not a big reputation when it comes to being a varsity athlete.
She also went into detail regarding her routine to prepare for a race. Larkin always eats pasta for dinner and adds an extra stretch in that day before the race. “Going to bed early and hydrating extra is a big thing for me before I race.”
Larkin is just one example of many student athletes representing UMW in varsity sports and their experience with tight schedules and encouraging teammates. Make sure to show your support to the cross country team at Dickinson Invitational this Saturday, Sept. 30.