by Chris McCormack ’18
One thing all Providence College students and alumni pride themselves on is the success of their sports teams. With a nationally ranked hockey team and a basketball program that has reached the NCAA tournament three years in a row, it is hard not to be proud of our athletes. However, one sport that is overlooked year after year is the women’s cross country team. The girls were previously ranked number one in the nation and have had great success in recent years. I was able to sit down with Head Coach Ray Treacy as well as runner Sarah Collins ’17G to talk about this year’s season.
The Women’s cross country team had their fair share of success at the end of last year and has continued it into this year. “Last year our women’s team was fourth in the country and won the Big East meet. We have mostly everyone back so the expectations are high enough for this year to do just as well, if not better,” Treacy told me. So far the team has met the expectations and arguably exceeded them. On Sept. 30, the women’s team competed at Notre Dame in the Joe Piane Invitational. They were able to win the race as a team with Collins finishing ninth overall. When I asked Collins how she thought the season was going so far she answered confidently saying, “So far so good. Everyone came back from a solid base of summer training fit and ready to go. From there we have been able to get in consistent good training together while getting the results out of the meets we’ve been at so far.” Collins is in an interesting position this year as she can make history as a PC runner. “Sarah Collins has been on the podium every year she has run with us and she can become the first athlete we have ever had at Providence College to make it on the podium all four years if she is able to make it this year,” Treacy said. When asked if she feels any added pressure with this possibility, Collins was very humbled and attributed a lot of her success to her teammates. “It’s absolutely a very exciting prospect and a major goal of mine. I’ve been so lucky to be able to be on a team with such talented girls during my time here and to achieve that would be amazing. I try not to add too much pressure, the aim is to podium as a team and to focus on the present tense,” Collins said.
Even though running a race is done individually, cross country is a team sport and depends on how everyone on the team finishes. With that said, both Treacy and Collins stressed the importance of working together as a team to get the best results. “Training varies from individual to individual. Obviously the seniors do a little bit more than the freshman. Our regular workouts are at 2:45 p.m. each day and everything including our recovery runs are of a pretty good pace. We don’t do any jogging and the workouts are hard,” Treacy explained. With a workout regimen like this, it can be very tiring, but it is always important to keep everyone motivated and on task. As a senior on the team, Sarah looks to keep everyone encouraged, “We are really lucky that as a team everyone comes ready to work hard and give it their best. I look to encourage everyone to just enjoy the sport for what it is and not take it for granted. As long as we stay healthy and train smart we can achieve our goals. As a senior member of the team, I have gone through the ups and downs of the sport and look to be a support figure for those who go through such situations.”
Treacy, Collins, and the rest of the girls look to continue their great success as the season progresses. They are hoping to thrive meet after meet and return to number one in the country. Both Treacy and Collins talked about hopefully having success at the conference championships, regionals, and nationals. “We will look to show up to meets ready to achieve and continue to learn and improve after each race. We will be aiming for success at Big East and Regionals, and come Nationals we want that podium finish,” Collins explained. It will be extremely interesting to see how the season ends up for these athletes. Keep an eye out for updates on how they do the rest of the season and in the postseason.