On Saturday, September 21, Josey Rupert broke the Eastern Women’s Cross Country record for the 6k at the Messiah Invitational. Her time was 23:33, which is about 54 seconds faster than the previous record. The competition was tough and the race was close, but Rupert is happy to call this her most significant accomplishment in her career so far as a Cross Country runner.
The race was held at Messiah’s home course, which is known to be fairly difficult; the path contains a steep hill and a long incline around a field. Rupert was in the lead of the race with two other runners: one from Messiah and one from Gettysburg. The runner from Messiah fell behind shortly after the steep hill, leaving the race open for first place between Rupert and the runner from Gettysburg. The other runner finished about 16 seconds ahead, but Rupert says “I’m coming for her next time.”
When asked how she felt after finding out she broke the record, Rupert said “It felt great! It’s always nice when all those miles and hours in the gym pay off, as I think they will for a lot of the girls on the team this season.” Rupert attributes much of her success as a runner to her coach, Mike Wilson.
“Thanks to outstanding instruction from Coach Mike Wilson, the whole team has improved to an unbelievable degree, and my own drops in time for the 5k and 6k can definitely be attributed to his coaching,” she says.
When asked about his hopes for Rupert, Coach Mike Wilson says, “It’s my hope that she continues to find a deep love for the sport of running well beyond Eastern, and that she continues to allow the sport to be an analogy for the Christian life, by which she can gain further confidence in her own abilities and in God who gave those abilities to her.”
In terms of her goals and expectations for the rest of her 2013 season, Rupert has a lot to look forward to, including the upcoming Paul Short Invitational and the Haverford Invitational on October 25. Since the Haverford invitational is nearby, it would be easy for Eastern students to go and support the Cross Country team. “We’re all hoping for lots of support and cheering from EU students at that meet (hint hint),” Rupert says.
Other competitions Rupert is anticipating are the MAC and Regional Championships in November. Nationals are a prospect for Rupert this season as well. “Are the National Championships a possibility?” She wonders, and then says “With a little faith and my neon Nike Free 5.0s, anything can happen!”
Game On! Don’t Miss Cross Country
On October 25, the Cross Country team will be running an important race at nearby Haverford College. The meet begins at 4:30PM, and will finish about 5:45 at the latest.
Transportation will not be provided. Haverford College is located at 370 West Lancaster Avenue, Lower Merion, PA, about 20 minutes to a half hour away from Eastern’s campus. So come out and support the team, especially if you have never seen a cross country meet before!
Any additional questions contact Emily Mackey or Josey Rupert at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively.