With the cross country season approaching rapidly, UNCG’s men and women cross country teams are looking forward to bringing home even more success than they saw last year. The team ended on a high note, finishing fifth in the league during the Southern Conference Championships. They continued on to the NCAA Southeast Regionals where they placed 29th overall, as did the men’s cross country team.
Last year’s standout freshman out of Hope Mills, NC, Taylor Delaney, is back this season ready to “contribute heavily to the team.” As a sophomore, she is also ready to perform better and lead her team by example. In last year’s SoCon championship Delaney was UNCG’s second finisher where she placed 126th overall. She was also “pleased” with her SoCon indoor championship races: there she qualified for both the mile and 800-meter race. She also highlights running the 1500 at the Duke Invitational where she set a personal best. She ended the season running a 22:46:00 during the NCAA Southeast Regionals.
Delaney is the early bird who gets the first worm. When asked about an average day in her life during the year, being both a student athlete and student at the university, Taylor explained her daily routine.
“An average day in my life includes waking at 5:30 a.m. every morning and going to practice followed by weights two times a week. After this, I go about each day as you would expect,” she explained. “I go to all of my classes, and once I finish those I pretty much stay doing homework or study for the rest of the day until it is time to settle down and repeat this same process the very next day.”
She also talked about the transition period from last year, going from a high school student athlete at South View to UNCG.
“From high school to UNCG I had to learn how to manage my time between practice, traveling, school and other responsibilities that came with being on the cross country and track team.” She continued, “I had to learn how to manage myself more and be able to be responsible and on top of myself. Everything I learned pretty much just went into just learning how to deal with the transition from high school to college as a whole and learning to be able to dealing with everything extra on my plate.”
Something each college student has to do at some point in his or her college career.
She had a smooth transition with the help of her teammates and coaches. She says “they [the coaches] were always there to check on me when they knew a lot was going on.” They also conducted weekly meetings with each athlete to ensure they were doing well academically. She continues on about the support system she found within her teammates; everything was so new when I first came in, so having a group of friends to support me the way they did made everything 100x easier,” said Delaney.
Now Delaney seems accustomed to the life of a collegiate student athlete. Instead of stressing, which is a common issue even with non-athletes, she has learned to “take it step by step.” Also, she’s learned how to “live on her own” and “manage her time better.”
Though she has no personal goals for this season, Delaney is more than ready for the start of this cross country season. She wants to do her best on and off the track and continue to perform at her highest ability. Her hope is to be able to continue to balance her track and school life and improve overall in both.
Delaney runs for the cross-country team as well as in and outdoor track for the university. The cross-country season begins Sept. 2 in Burlington, North Carolina where Taylor and her fellow Spartans will run in the Elon University Opener.