Cross-Country Gears Up For the New Season
As the cross-country season approaches, Rachel Fichthorn eagerly waits to report to preseason training on Sunday, August 19. The junior from Nokesville, Virginia and holder of eleven Salem College athletic records (8 swim, 3 cross country) is looking forward to competing after a summer of spending time with her parents and her boyfriend. Fichthorn finished the 2006 cross-country season as the #1 NCAA Division III North Carolina women’s runner and placed second overall in the Association of Division III Independents Championship in Bennington, Vermont. In the post-season, Fichthorn was named on the AD3I Second Team. Later in the Spring, Fichthorn placed 14th overall out of 622 women in the Charlotte Half-Marathon.
Joining Fichthorn will be sophomore Lauren Meek from Draper, Virginia. Meek earned a spot on the Association of Division III Independents Honorable Mention Team in 2006 and placed 4th overall in the AD3I Championship Race. Meek finished as the #2 North Carolina cross-country harrier. During the 2006 season, Meek broke her PR in high school by almost two minutes and became a dominant figure in every race she entered. After the season concluded, Meek competed in the National Junior Olympics in Spokane, Washington, placing 49th overall.
Ariel Barker, a sophomore from Monroe, NC, will be returning. Barker finished the season strong last year as she placed 10th overall in the championship race, earning a spot on the All-Association Team. After a strong summer of training, Barker is confident that this season will be even better.
The Salem College Cross-Country Team welcomes two newcomers this fall. Heather Ramsey, a native of Hope Mills, NC, is a transfer student-athlete from UNCG. As a senior in high school, Ramsey placed 75th overall as she helped Hope Mills Southview High School place 11th overall in the 2005 North Carolina State Championships. Ramsey's high school PR is a 20:55 5K. Julie Piernikowski is a first-year student-athlete who ran for Richard Montgomery High School in Potomac, Maryland and had a very successful senior season.
"I'm really excited about this upcoming cross-country season. I know that all of the girls will work their very best and run as well as they can. I am proud to be the captain of this team for the second year and I hope that this year will be as fun and successful as last year."- Rachel Fichthorn, Captain
According to Head Cross-Country Coach JP Widner, “At first glance, people might mistake our team as being a small, noncompetitive team. I just smile when I heard that. The heart and spunk that my team has in every practice and every race is a joy to my heart. We are a close-knit team with great friendships and a love for the sport. I believe that Salem College Cross-Country will have a successful season in 2007. I feel so lucky to be the coach of these fine student-athletes.”