Sophomore cross country star proves her love for running

By Lauren Aiken
December 8, 2005

Cross country has a reputation for being a very demanding sport that involves time and energy that only certain people posses. There is a spark that is only found in the runners that have the strength to run every day, no matter what the weather is or how they are feeling.

Carolyn Roberts, sophomore exercise science major, definitetly has that spark. “It takes a great deal of mental fortitude to be a good runner. It is very hard mentally, as well as physically. It takes a special person to do a sport that is considered a punishment by those in other sports,” Tom O’Hora, the cross country coach, said.

Despite being selected for the NCAA Academic All American in cross country, Roberts also makes her mark in the classroom with a 3.97 GPA. “In order to be selected for this honor you must be one of the top runners in the country and have a very high GPA. She certainly meets the standards. She is so typical of the good cross country runners; the best ones are top students,” Coach O’Hora said. But Roberts wasn’t always a runner.

“I was a very active kid. I was really into horseback riding, and as soon as I could sit, my mom put me on a horse. But soon, horseback riding took a backseat to my running career,” Roberts said. “I got into running in the sixth grade. My school didn’t have a very good cross country or track team. So when I got into high school and went out for the team, I really didn’t understand how hard it would really be. I stayed with it for all four years of high school. It got to the point where I was running 11 months out of the year, and resting for one month. When I got to Cabrini, I just stayed with it,” Roberts said.

Roberts credits most of her cross country career to her high school coach, Larry Wilson. “Once you were on his team you were his, and once I started, I just kept with it. In high school, we would run about 60 to 80 miles a week,” Roberts said. She has gotten a lot of support from her friends and family throughout her life. “Scoot” is her father’s nickname for her, and if you ever went to a meet, you could hear him cheering for her all over the course.

“He and her mother are her biggest supporters. They even travel to the away meets and stay in hotels in order to see her run,” O’Hora said. He has a lot to cheer about.

Roberts has a long list of accomplishments from high school to college, including: 2nd place team for cross country in 2002, All American Academic runner, four nominations for PAC runner and is captain of cross country this year.

Despite several injuries throughout her career, Roberts has never given up.

“Carolyn has a quiet intensity about her. She just goes about the business of running. She has the unique ability to focus on her race and is not set back by the bumps,” O’Hora said. “Carolyn is a very special athlete. She is a joy to coach. She ‘gets’ it without a lot of coaching from me. We are generally on the same page.”

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

Lauren Aiken

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