(Courtesy of Michael Fields(103.1 FM) and GreensboroSports.com)
The future for the UNCG women’s cross country team is extremely bright. They just signed two of the top female runners in the state to join the Spartans in the fall. This is on top of two Spartans receiving all-conference accolades this season. The main story for the women’s cross country team this season is freshman phenom Kathleen Mansure though. She took over the team as a freshman. She has proven to be the leader of the team already. She stepped right in and showed everyone what she was made of. Mansure won the SoCon Freshman of the Year award this season. It is amazing that Mansure did so well during her freshman year though. Usually, it takes freshmen a little while before they catch up to college play. Usually, It is extremely difficult to transition from high school sports to college sports and excel in college as a freshman. Mansure has already showed that she is a force to be reckoned with now and for years to come.
“This past season for me has definitely been a learning curve on how to get out fast and still be confident and competitive without necessarily being in the front” Mansure said. “I’m overall pleased with UNCG’s women team as, despite some early nagging injuries, we pulled through with a stronger finish at SoCon.”
It is so exciting that UNCG was able to get this fantastic runner to come run for them. It is good to know that UNCG enticed Mansure to become a Spartan. The recruiting of this incredible athlete was brilliant by UNCG. Other universities will be wishing that they had recruited Mansure. UNCG got a athlete and leader for the cross country team.
“Academics were number one for me and I wanted a school that had both an accredited nutrition program and an exercise science program (currently I want to become a PT)” Mansure said. “I looked at several in-state schools that met this criteria, but ultimately choose UNCG as I felt so welcomed by my (then) future teammates and coaches.”
One thing that is intriguing about cross country is the work ethic that the runners put into it. All sports require work ethic, but cross country requires strenuous physical activity. These athletes run for hours and hours to prepare for practice and upcoming meets. These runners need extreme will and determination to get their bodies to run mile after mile. Cross country runners put more into their craft than most people realize.
“I typically run 60-70 miles a week which is probably about 7-8 including warm-up drills for workout sessions. Typically in a week I will get two 60 minute runs at an easier pace, one 75 minute and one 90 minute run, and two workout sessions that usually total about eleven miles with warmup and cool-down. Usually one workout session will focus a little more on the speed aspect of things and one more on endurance” Mansure said. “I tend to also do core work on my own 5-6 times a week.”
As mentioned earlier, the future of the women’s cross country team is extremely hopeful. Mansure is not stuck on her freshman campaign though. She is already looking forward to next year and beyond. She is already looking to improve when she is a sophomore on the team. She has high hopes for herself and the team for next year. Also, she is looking to be the best at her sport, regardless of the season.
“While we’re certainly losing some strong seniors, I hope that with the combination of our own hard work and good recruits coming in, that we can place higher in SoCon and all other meets. Additionally, I would like to continue building on the feeling of a team with a common goal-to be the best we can be” Mansure said. “By the time I graduate I would like to have broken UNCG records in the longer distances and have a high finish nationally, especially in the 10k during outdoor.”