Mason Senior Lauren Woods took advantage of the opportunity to run in the NXN Championships. Her overall Senior XC season was more than she hoped for, and she accomplished more than she thought was possible, breaking 18 minutes, getting 4th in the State D1 girls' race and running 65th in the NXN Championships. She is now looking forward to the upcoming track season.
OHRunners: First congratulations on qualifying for the Nike XC Nationals. That is quite an honor. What was the experience like for you?
Lauren: I was extremely honored to qualify for NXN. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I enjoyed meeting amazing runners from all across the country and competing at such a high level. Nike does a great job with the event.
OHRunners: What were your expectations getting prepared for the race?
Lauren: I wasn't too sure what to expect beforehand. I knew there was going to be some great talent on the course. I just went out there wanting to have the best race that I possibly could. My coach told me what to expect, place wise, somewhere 50s, 60s.
OHRunners: What was your race strategy?
Lauren: I knew the course was going to be muddy, no way around it. I tried to stay positive, because the course was rough for every runner and we all had to face the tough conditions. I simply ran the way I always did, just treated it like any other race. My coach told me to get out hard, while I was still semi-mud free.
OHRunners: What were your thoughts at the starting line?
Lauren: I felt pretty excited at the start line. I knew my coach, family and friends were all watching the race live from at home, so I ran it for them. At the start, I just thought it's my last high school XC race, let's go for it!
OHRunners: You were 65th in a time of 20:58.00. Describe your race?
Lauren: This was definitely the hardest XC race I've ever competed in. It was to be expected that my time was slow. I just tried to have a strong start, and work my way through the race. Looking at the splits, I started a little further back than I would have liked, but passed almost 10 people each K.
OHRunners: How would you describe your 2012 XC season, including your 4th place finish in the D1 girls race at National Trails?
Lauren: My overall XC season was more than I could have ever hoped for. I achieved more that I ever thought possible. Breaking 18 minutes and getting 4th at state individually, as well as bringing home a team championship was amazing. I look forward to what my future holds in running, in track this season and in college.
OHRunners: Thanks Lauren. Congratulations on a great Senior XC season. We are looking forward to watching you compete this Spring