This fall has seen most of the fall sporting events in the Gulf South Conference postponed until spring due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. However, cross country is one of very few sports that have been allowed to continue with their season. MC senior runner Madeline Campbell expressed her excitement about being able to compete in this time of limitations. “Having almost six months of training on our own really had us excited to come back and train with all of our friends and training partners and just push each other to be our very best!
“My expectations are to have fun and still get after it, ” she says of her expectations going into her fourth and final season at MC. “We have an awesome group of freshmen and returning runners.” Even with the absence of regional and national championship races, Campbell still believes that MC will have a competitive team within the Gulf South Conference.
Campbell also has another task ahead of her this season–being a leader. In her beginnings on the cross country team, she had to uphold a leadership role, as there were no seniors or even juniors on the team by her sophomore season. She adds, “Being a captain as a sophomore (along with teammate and sophomore at the time, McKenzie Hargrove) really pushed me into a leadership role. Having that opportunity to see and help other teammates grow has been an awesome time.”
Teammate and fellow MC senior on the men’s team, Jake Russell, added on Campbell’s leadership, “We both struggled with a very similar thing when it came to mentality in running. ” He mentions about the beginning of their careers, “Whenever we got to the raceline we were both nervous; we didn’t know what was going to happen.” Russell praised Campbell’s growth over her time at MC by adding, “Her overcoming that has really helped her leadership.” While the NCAA has cancelled all Division II Fall Championships, the MC cross country team will still be on the hunt for a GSC championship, with Campbell leading the way to achieve that goal.