Holy Cross Women's Cross Country Diary: On The Trail With Erin Duggan

Erin Duggan

Diary Entries
October 27, 2005
September 12, 2005

October 27, 2005

I heard some great advice today as I sat down at our pre-Patriot League Championship pep talk. Our coach, Coach Kavanagh, told us that this weekend, we should relax and have fun and our good times will come. We have run our hard workouts and put in the miles. Now it's time to reap the rewards. This will be my last Patriot League Championship in cross country, and I have to tell you I couldn't be more psyched. I figure as long as I try my best and have fun, I'll do well. I really just want to take it all in.

These past few weeks have been amazing. I've really enjoyed being around the girls. We have the kind of team where you don't want to miss a day of practice at the cost of missing out on the latest story. Every day at 3:30 p.m., it's my chance to unwind and talk to girlfriends. Even on days of workouts, you know it's going to be a daunting task to run repeats but it's not that bad when you do it together. Once you reach that runner's high, a feeling of great satisfaction comes over you. We have the best Kimball dinners on those nights. We can't wait to scoop up a dessert plate after a tough workout.

Our team really has it down. We work hard and then we have fun. A few weeks ago we went to the Rail Trails in nearby West Boylston, to run two two-mile repeats. We ran our times and got the job done and then found a great release. As I drove a few sophomores back to school, I was just thinking of the fun we were having belting out Wilson Phillips' Hold On for One More Day. The good times just kept on coming. Last week, we took a trip to our teammate's house in Leicester. After a run on some beautiful trails, we got into the Halloween spirit and carved pumpkins for charity at her farm. It was awesome to be a kid again, pulling out the slimy insides of a pumpkin. When the season has run its course and all is said and done, I know I'll remember these days because they were classic. They are simply days of good ole fun.

The next time I talk to you the Patriot League Championship will have come and gone. I hope to tell you of the amazing race Holy Cross had. But in truth, it's more than just good times on the course, for me it's been good times on the hill. In my four years, I've had my ups and downs much like a traditional cross country run, but when it comes down to it, I have had days full of laughs and fun with these girls and for that I am very thankful that I was a part of the Holy Cross women's cross country team.

Until Next Time,
Erin Duggan

 

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September 12, 2005

Hi, my name is Erin Duggan and I am a senior psychology major from Long Island. As I look back on my years here at Holy Cross, I remember my days as a nervous freshman trying to adjust to life on the hill. Running definitely helped smooth my transition to college. Joining the cross country team was one of the best decisions I ever made. Freshman year, I arrived a week early for preseason and got to bond with the girls over movies and ice cream after a day on the trails. Whenever I was unsure of something, I knew I could turn to upperclassmen for advice. By the time school started, I already knew a group of 20 girls and had a designated seat in our dining hall, Kimball.

Having run throughout high school, I was looking to continue my passion in college. I was excited to run for a Division I program like Holy Cross. There is a great balance here between academics and athletics. You are definitely a student first and an athlete second. We have girls on the team who are involved in the pre-med program and have labs once a week. Whenever there is conflict, Coach Kavanagh will organize a small group to run workouts at alternate times.

I have truly had an enjoyable experience running for Holy Cross thus far. Our cross country team is very close. In more ways than one they are my support system at school. It is always nice to unwind with the girls over a long run. When work piles up they are there to help me calm down. I still keep in touch with alumni all over the country, giving them updates about the team. The friendships I have made on this team have been priceless. Just last week, I spoke with a recent alumna, Michela Byrne who hails from Portland, Oregon, and will soon be leaving to work for the Jesuit Volunteer Core in Peru. We reminisced about old times as she gave me tips on how best to enjoy my final year at the Cross.

There has been plenty of good news to tell this year. On our first day of preseason we met 13 freshmen, now famously known as the "Fresh Dozen." We had a solid week of running with a trip to Coach Kavanagh's beach house in Narragansett, Rhode Island, with the men's team. Fun was had by all with a game of stickball and a delicious barbeque courtesy of Chez Kavanagh. We capped off our week with an ice cream social in the senior apartments. After a long week of running, an ice cream treat totally hit the spot.

Our team has a very strong start this year. Graduating six seniors last year, there was a huge void to fill but the freshmen on the team have really stepped up. We have a tight pack up front. The girls on the team have been very encouraging, helping each other through tough workouts and hard races. We have done well this season, coming in third at the Central Connecticut Invitational and fifth at the Connecticut College Invitational. In past years, the times on the team had been more spread out but this year we have been coming in one after another. Racing is not an easy task. It is very mental and can be difficult when you don't have the right mind frame. But with a close team like ours, you have someone there to pull you with them. At Holy Cross, teammates don't run against each other, they run with each other. I truly believe that is the secret to our success thus far. Next week, the team will split with the top seven making the trip out to Notre Dame for the National Catholic Invitational and the rest of our team defending our title at the Fitchburg Invitational.

Until Next Time,
Erin Duggan

 

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