Freshman cross country runner Carrie Verdon took third at the USA Cross Country Championships, giving her a spot to go to Poland and compete on the U.S. team at the IAAF World Championships on March 24.
She says going into the USA Cross Country Championships, she didn’t have any high goals. She was just trying to finish in the top six.
“I didn’t really have a set place exactly,” Verdon said. “I knew I wanted to be in the top six. My race plan was just to try and hang in that top six for as long as I could and hope that I could finish in that top six.”
Verdon finished her race in 21 minutes and 8.08 seconds. Because of her great finish, she will now be headed to Poland to compete in the IAAF World Championships.
To prepare for Poland, Verdon says she is using the same tactics she has used throughout her season.
“I am going to do the same stuff I have been doing, just focus on staying healthy, injury free and having no interruptions,” Verdon said.
Verdon says she is a little unsure of what to expect once she gets to Poland.
“I don’t really know what to expect [in Poland],” Verdon said. “It will be really different running against international athletes.”
Verdon will be representing America in March in the junior’s race. Verdon says though that the pressure of it has not gotten to her.
“It is really exciting,” Verdon said. “I guess I didn’t really think about it like that, but it is cool. I am excited.”
The Buffs have not had a great finish at the championships since 2005. As a freshman, Verdon has accomplished a lot. She says though, that going into her freshman season, all she wanted was to dive into the new experiences and then see what happened.
“I just wanted to stay healthy and see what happened,” she said. “I didn’t really have any huge goals. I wanted to contribute to the team and help out as much as I could. But other than that, I wanted to keep an open mind and take my freshman year as a learning experience rather than putting a whole lot of pressure on myself.”
Verdon is from Moraga Calif., where she attended Campolindo High School. She made it to state in cross country all four years in high school and won it her junior and senior year.
She is therefore no novice when it comes to balancing a sport and schoolwork.
“It is actually a lot easier adjusting to a new town when you have a sport because you have a family you can rely on,” she said. “The support system has really helped me. It has made the transition a lot easier than for most students.”
The IAAF World Championships are on March 24, but then after we should expect to see much more of Verdon on the track.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Arja at Jillian.Arja@colorado.edu.