The women’s cross-country team had a disappointing weekend, but it could have been a lot worse. They came in to the SSC Championship with a legitimate chance to finish first. Unfortunately, the team had a pair of runners who were given medical attention for dehydration.
Top women’s runner Laura Woznicki was going for her third top-five finish in a row. Prior to the race she felt confident she could finish among the top three. A mile into the race she knew something was wrong.
“I passed the mile mark and started to feel tired,” she says. “At about a mile and a half my legs just gave out on me. My teammates told me I tried to get up, but I don’t remember anything. I just remember being in the back of an ambulance.”
Woznicki was given an IV and remained in the ambulance for a couple of hours. She did not go to the hospital.
Freshman runner Dara Fox had a similar experience. After a 12th place finish, she also collapsed. She was immediately taken to the hospital and treated for dehydration. She remained in the hospital for three hours.
Head coach Jarrett Slaven knows how unpredictable these races can be. “When that gun goes off, sometimes it’s whatever happens, happens,” he said.
Despite all the bad luck, there were some bright spots. Paige Williams continued her strong season with a fourth place finish. Her teammate Alysha Duffy finished right behind her in fifth place. Both were first team all conference. On the men’s side, Tony Nicolosi finished fifth. The women’s team finished second overall, as did the men.
Woznicki and Fox are both feeling better now. They were back to practice with the team on Monday. Coach Slaven was happy to see that.
“I was surprised to see they were up already,” he said.
The team will now prepare for the NCAA South Regional in Memphis, Tenn. to be held on Saturday, Nov. 5. Woznicki sees this as a chance to redeem herself.
“I’m in good shape,” she says. “We have to go up against Florida Southern, and I have no doubt we can beat them.”