Captain Hannah Foster hopes to continue cross country tradition
A new year brings new opportunity for the women’s cross country team. Returning to the team for her junior season, team captain Hannah Foster is hopeful for the team’s ability to make it to nationals. In years prior, women’s cross country was unable to qualify as a team due to small rosters, but this year is different.
“For the girls’ team, we finally have a full team for scoring, so it would be incredible to qualify for NCCAA Nationals,” Foster said.
The team has already ran in three races this season. They finished third in the Early Bird Invitational, a 24th place finish in a highly competitive field at the St. Olaf Invitational and finished 14th at the Blugold Invitational hosted by Wisconsin Eau-Claire.
This season, Foster finds herself in a similar situation to last year with injured knees. With plenty of races remaining, Foster strives for a personal record this season, but more than anything she wishes to run all her races to the best of her ability.
“I am trying to nurse my knees back to health in order to fight off other injuries and because of this, my goal for the season is to run the rest of my races fully recovered,” Foster said.
No matter the outcome, Foster is a leader by example and exemplifies what it means to put the team first. Like many of the other teams at North Central, women’s cross country is a family and Foster believes that creating a team culture that is inclusive of all members is key to setting the tone for the season.
“I am firm believer in leading from a place of vulnerability and honesty, so each week, my teammates and I spend 20 minutes after chapel to check in with one another and pray through different circumstances in life,” Foster said.
Being a leader of a team means not only helping cultivate a good team foundation on the course, but also helping to provide growth outside of the sport. Balancing schoolwork and sports can be difficult.
“I want our team to realize that having the discipline for cross country – whether it means going to bed early or eating better – will translate into other areas of their lives,” Foster said. “Cross country is one of our many ways we get to worship God.”
With much of the season still ahead, Foster and her teammates will continue striving towards a great season that glorifies God and demonstrates discipline both on and off the course.