Eastern Mennonite University freshman Megan Good (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) is making a smooth transition from high school to collegiate athletics.
This transition, one that can consist of better competition and longer hours of training, has looked easy for the cross country runner, who earned all-conference honors at the ODAC Championships last weekend.
The freshman ran with the pack early and stretched ahead later in the six kilometer race. She placed 13th out of 93 runners while also notching a personal record time of 24:16.2. The high finish gave her All-ODAC Second Team accolades.
While being part of a team full of youth, Megan has shined and shown that she can, in fact, run with the level of competition that is spread throughout the ODAC.
“My transition to college running was very smooth,” Megan said. “Coach Bryan allowed us to gradually build up our mileage rather than slamming us right away, which was very helpful for adjusting. It was somewhat of a shock to learn that we didn't get a rest day every week, but even that has not been too difficult to deal with.”
Megan finished 79th out of 303 runners at the prestigious Paul Short Run on Oct. 1 and 29th out of 262 at the Gettysburg Invitational on Oct. 15, so the improvement has building all season.
“I am very pleased with what I accomplished, and definitely feel that my hard work has paid off,” Megan stated on her improvement.
Megan pays a lot of tribute to her teammates for her success. Valuing the essence of a team environment in a seemingly individualistic sport is something she takes pride in.
“My success, however, was not entirely my own,” Megan explained. “I owe my teammates for pushing me to work harder and encouraging me throughout the season; they inspired me to work harder than I would have alone. I especially would like to thank Elizabeth Nisly (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton), Juni Schirch (Goshen, Ind./Goshen), and Laurie Serrell (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) for being my running buddies on workout days. We are stronger together.”
With all of the training that goes into the sport, the strategy of each individual runner varies on their own preference.
“Generally, I feel strongest when I go out conservatively, building the intensity as I get farther and farther into the race,” Megan stated on her typical strategy.
In ODACs, though, Megan threw aside her usual strategy and took into account the importance of the race and making a statement in her young career.
“At ODACs I did not stick to this pattern,” she said. “I went out fast with the pack, and then decided that it would be much worse to drop places than to be in a little bit more pain for the next twenty minutes. So I kept pushing. Once I realized that I had a shot at being All-ODAC, that really motivated me to give everything that I could.”
Megan looks to continue to grow in her time here at EMU and improve her mental game in the sport of cross country.
“Running is at its heart a mental sport, and I was able to find the mental toughness that I needed on Saturday,” Megan said.
--- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern