The future for the UNC-Greensboro women’s cross country team looks extremely bright.
The team just signed two of the top female runners in the state to join the Spartans last fall, as well as having two Spartans receiving all-conference accolades this season.
The main story for the women’s cross country team this season so far has been freshman phenom Kathleen Mansure. She took over the team as a freshman and has become a proven leader on the team already. She stepped right in and showed everyone what she was made of.
Mansure won the SoCon Freshman of the Year award this season. It is amazing that Mansure did so well during her freshman year though. Usually, it takes freshmen a little while to adjust to collegiate life coming from high school, as well as athletics. Mansure has already showed that she is a force to be reckoned with now and for years to come.
“This past season for me has definitely been a learning curve on how to get out fast and still be confident and competitive without necessarily being in the front,” Mansure said. “I’m overall pleased with UNCG’s women team as, despite some early nagging injuries, we pulled through with a stronger finish at SoCon.”
As she has already shown to be a star as a freshman, many universities had recruited Mansure to join their teams throughout her time in high school. Kathleen talked about her decision to come to UNCG over the other universities.
“Academics were number one for me, and I wanted a school that had both an accredited nutrition program and an exercise science program. Currently, I want to become a PT,” Mansure said. “I looked at several in-state schools that met this criteria but ultimately choose UNCG as I felt so welcomed by my [then] future teammates and coaches.”
One thing that is intriguing about cross country is the work ethic that the runners put into it. All sports require work ethic, but cross country requires strenuous physical activity.
These athletes run for hours and hours to prepare for practice and upcoming meets. It is not just having the endurance to run. It takes a level of pride and determination to be able to run miles daily. Cross country runners put more into their craft than most people realize.
“I typically run 60 to 70 miles a week, which is probably about 7 to 8 including warm-up drills for workout sessions. Typically in a week, I will get two 60 minute runs at an easier pace, one 75 minute and one 90 minute run and two workout sessions that usually total about eleven miles with warmup and cool-down. Usually one workout session will focus a little more on the speed aspect of things and one more on endurance,” Mansure said. “I tend to also do core work on my own 5 to 6 times a week.”
The future of the women’s cross country team is extremely hopeful. Mansure is not stuck on her freshman campaign though. Like any great athlete, Mansure looks to what she can accomplish and not what she has accomplished. She talked about the future of the cross country team and herself.
“While we’re certainly losing some strong seniors, I hope that with the combination of our own hard work and good recruits coming in, that we can place higher in SoCon and all other meets. Additionally, I would like to continue building on the feeling of a team with a common goal-to be the best we can be,” Mansure said. “By the time I graduate, I would like to have broken UNCG records in the longer distances and have a high finish nationally, especially in the 10k during outdoor.”
Already this season, Kathleen has finished first in the 3,000 meter run at the UNCG Early Bird meet.
A continuation of an already successful freshman year.