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Gwyther sets record and wins NEC award
After red-shirting her past two seasons, Katie Gwyther’s first real race back proved to be a triumphant one. Fighting back from a stress fracture that made her miss the 2003 outdoor season and cross country season, Gwyther set a school record in the one mile on January 31 at the Boston University Terrier Classic, with a time of 5:02.17.
“I kind of had extra pressure on myself,” Gwyther admits as the race was a test for her. “My body can’t handle that much and I just wanted to see where I was at.” Given the circumstances she feels she passed the test. “To be able to come back [from injury] and to see that I can maintain my fitness was great,” she said.
Gwyther did more than just maintain her fitness throughout her comeback as she broke the one mile record that she previously set at last year’s NEC championships. Her performance was impressive enough to earn her NEC athlete of the week honors.
She believes that she is more mature this year and it has helped her with her races. “It was such a change in the way I race. People couldn’t talk to me before usually. The fact that I am more mature and I had no expectations whatsoever definitely made it easier,” said Gwyther.
Only being able to run four days a week and cross train the others, Katie misses the fact she can not run with her team daily. She has been plagued by injury and has had bad shins.
Another factor that has added to Gwyther’s as well as the team’s success has been the team unity over the course of the season. “Many people don’t realize this is a team sport and how tight this team actually is, both the boys and the girls,” Gwyther remarks.
Many school records have been broken this season by both the men’s and the women’s teams. Coach Shawn Green also feels that this year team is different from the past. “The team is working harder this year than ever and the talent that has been a bit hidden is now starting to show,” said Green.
A change in training could also be a reason for the team’s recent success. “We have changed our training in the last year to include more aerobic workouts. It seems to be paying off,” said Green. It certainly does seem to be paying off as sophomore Mark Driscoll also set the school record in the mile at the Boston University Terrier Classic.
Both Gwyther and Driscoll have had successful seasons so far and both are looking forward to upcoming meets. The NEC championships will be held in Landover, MD on Feb. 14 and 15. While the Bobcats will be searching for success in winning the team title, Gwyther looks forward to qualifying for the ECAC’s. “I am the defending champion in the mile, so I hope that I can do that successfully as well as contribute toward the team title,” said Gwyther.
If the trend continues, the future looks bright for the Bobcats. The team is heading toward the pinnacle of the season and looks to qualify as many individuals to the New England and the ECAC [women’s] and IC4A [men’s] championships.