Roberts finishes collegiate cross country career

By Mike Bieker
October 25, 2007

Carolyn Roberts does not know the phrase “I can’t do it.” The senior cross country distance runner has run through a lot of obstacles with and without her team.

Roberts has two heart conditions that impair her running ability but does not stop her passion for cross country.

Roberts has vasovagal syncope and neurocardiogenic syncope which are two conditions of the heart that are not fatal and her doctor has cleared her to run. However they are very dangerous. Sometimes in races she feels light headed and even blacks out from time to time but never quits and always finishes the race.

Robert’s condition has made it difficult on her. She is unable to train with the team but she receives one-on-one training with her trainer James Williams. Williams helps Roberts out when she is having an episode brought on by her heart conditions.

Through the time they spent together they have made a very strong bond and personal connection. At times Williams jokes with Roberts about how he could see her dating a Marine because she’s so tough and overcomes obstacles that normal people would not.

The senior distance runner is known throughout the long distance running world. She has won many awards like academic all-American twice, Philadelphia Inquirer all-star twice, PAC athlete of the week, PAC all academic and even the winner of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s runner of the year. Because of this award she had a full story written about her in the Inquirer.

Roberts identifies herself with the rest of her teammates, always striving to place the best she can. “Everyone has to push for the highest place,” Roberts said.

When she graduates she wishes to work as an intern at a hospital in Phoenixville, Pa. Because of her condition, Roberts wants to work as an intern in cardiac rehab.

“I’m gonna miss being on a team, training with James and running but I’m still going to overcome any obstacles that come my way,” Roberts said.

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Mike Bieker

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