2005 NCAA III Cross Country Champs – Ohio Wesleyan- Delaware, Ohio
Leading my team to a 4th place finish on a beautiful day on a tough course, I grabbed the 2nd place spot (scoring 1 team point); 8 seconds from winner Hailey Harren. The race took off down a steep hill, looped around with a challenging climb mid-race then back up the final steep hill reverse to the finish. I hesitated mid race to really make a move, which proved to be too late on the final death climb. It is impossible for me to gain much on uphills. It comes with the territory of having unnaturally long legs in proportion to my torso. (Which brings me to a point- if you see someone with long legs please don’t assume they “must be a great runner”; its really a handicap!!) I held my place but was unable to surge to challenge for the win.
I had no idea who Hailey was until I found out post race this was her first time running at cross nationals as a junior. Instead I was focusing on accomplished D3 runners Caroline Cretti, Shauneen Garrahan and Amanda Kuca. Coming off of a phenomenal season of huge PRs, Hailey had hoped for All American status at this race. If only I would have known- stick to the girl right next to you (seen above) at the start, you might win! Either way, she kicked my butt to a well deserved win. FULL RESULTS (men/women) here
1 Hailey Harren Jr Gustavus Adolphus 5:38 (pace) 18:07(split) 21:51.9
2 Julia Rudd Sr Wisconsin La Crosse 5:41 18:14 21:59.2
3 Elizabeth Montgomery Fr Geneseo S U N Y 5:38 18:14 22:00.9
4 Allison Busby So Plattsburgh S U N Y 5:41 18:22 22:05.9
5 Amanda Kuca Sr Concordia Wisconsin 5:41 18:27 22:06.6
6 Caroline Cretti Sr Williams College 5:38 18:22 22:08.7
7 Leah Peelman Sr Hanover College 5:39 18:27 22:14.0
8 Meg Young Sr Springfield College 5:39 18:35 22:26.9
9 Leslie Dillon Sr DePauw University 5:39 18:36 22:30.0
10 Keidra Anderson Sr Hamline University 5:39 18:44 22:31.9
The disappointment came when I was asked to take a drug test. As soon as I stepped away from the finish, I said let’s do it. They don’t do these sort of things regularly in D3 so I had not realized the consequences if I couldn’t quite fill the cup to the appropriate line. I came just short which meant I missed watching the entire guys race as the UW-La Crosse men won the title (94 points to Calvin’s 117) with seniors Boomer Creger and Nate Hoffman finally getting All-American status. When I came out, 2 hours later, literally everyone had left the meet. Friends and family had traveled far and I missed the best part of celebrating on site.
UW-L Women 4th!!
1. Geneseo St., 88; 2. Williams, 107; 3. Washington-St. Louis, 132; 4. Wis.-La Crosse, 167;
35. (20) Kristen Painter, Wis.-La Crosse, 23:01.8 (All American)
74. (42) Kristen Howe, Wis.-La Crosse, 23:38.7
89. (51) Amy Beleba, Wis.-La Crosse, 23:51.1
91. (53) Meagan Herlache, Wis.-La Crosse, 23:52.6
109. (67) Melissa Palmer, Wis.-La Crosse, 24:08.0
174. (130) Rachel Dedyne, Wis.-La Crosse, 24:50.8
The running part of college was awesome, but Coach Healy and the girls on my team made it even better. Coach had to constantly put up with my immaturity and the rest of the girls were there to humor me. I had best friends from the great training partners in Nikki Cahen and Ariel Perkins. The only thing I was semi-serious during my last few years was Faith. I was able to share it with the girls and got so much inspiration through Athletes In Action with Kristen Painter and Meagan Herlache.
Thanks to reminders in note form from Julie Mocadlo or Katie Porter, it made it easy to remember to stay tough mid race. It was custom to do things such as steal the wrestling team’s Eagle mascot at our team dinners to get us psyched up. We were reminded not to take things too seriously when Mocadlo would coming to practice on a unicycle, or win the chocolate milk/raspberry rush drink competition against Nick Madsen (from the men’s team). I convinced Nikki to do handstands with me everyday (and would usually win contests against Bill Walkowicz)*. Julie Jahn and Katie Wagner convinced me that I was “Rudd the Studd”. I had support me in writing my own rap song or wearing skirts on our long run. Thankfully I eventually graduated because I was forced to grow up.
*I was banned from handstands in public by Alan in 2008.
I was privileged to finish my UW-La Crosse career on a high note with an amazing season as a red-shirt senior in ’05 but before that happened here’s a summary of my college cross country career: (NCAA finishes in bold)
’01– Cocky freshman leading team first race, soon to be All American in my mind, anemia, humbled with 146th place as 7th runner
’02– Missy Buttry era, realistic and fit, took my iron, strong and ready, WIAC conference champ while sick, mono, raced at NCAAs after 2 weeks complete rest – 23rd place
’03– cautious, still feeling affects of mono, coming on strong late season, wobbly finish from dehydration at nats (going from 6th to 26th place last 100m)
’04-questioning staying D3 after winning steeple NCAAs-set to go to UW-Madison, forgot the school part, stayed, redshirt, overtrained by late fall and wiped
’05– no Missy Buttry, a chance to win, strong and smart, dominated every race (undefeated in 6 races) til runner-up to surprise (Hailey Harren) at final NCAAs