McCarthy Ready for Cross Country

Written by Student Assistant Stephen Hobbs '11

   For junior Erin McCarthy (EM), the break between the outdoor track and cross country seasons is small, but she took a break from her training to reflect on her outstanding outdoor track season.  The Denver native set two school records at the end of the year and she hopes to continue this momentum into the cross country season in the fall. Santaclarabroncos.com took an inside look at Erin McCarthy and what Bronco fans can look forward to from the women's cross country team.

SCU: How long is your break between the end of track training and the beginning of the Cross Country training? Do you get a lot of time to rest?
EM: We get about two weeks off in between seasons. Its perfect! By the middle of the second week I'm always antsy to start running again.

SCU: You provided multiple record-breaking performances for the track team at the end of the season in the 1500m and the 800m.  How were you feeling on those days?
EM: I felt really good. There was not much pressure on the 800m, it was the first one I had run since high school, so I was just anxious to see if I still knew how to race it. Both of the races were fun. I took some risks by going out faster than usual, and it ended up working out. 

SCU: How did the redshirt year in track help you progress from last season to this season?
EM: It helped me build a base. I came from a program that ran 25 miles a week max, so it was nice to have a year to adapt to the intensity and mileage of our program.

SCU: You competed in cross country, track and swimming in high school. What was your favorite of the three? And what events did you swim in high school?
EM: Track was definitely my favorite. Cross country was way too long.  I swam basically to stay in shape for track and I raced the 200 Free and 100 Breast.

SCU: Your older sister also ran in college at Dartmouth College.  Did you both share a passion for running? Do you often train together?
EM: Yeah, we definitely do. We did not really train together when I was in high school because we were at such different levels; she used to be the one always dragging me out to run. But now we always want to train together whenever we're in the same state. I love it! The runs go by much faster.

SCU: Now that training for cross country has started, do you feel more confident in your abilities because of your outstanding track season?
EM: I have a year of racing under my belt that I did not have last cross country season. I know when to take risks and a lot more about race strategy, so I'm excited to see what I can do with that this season. Our whole team should be back and healthy, it will be a good season.

SCU: Do you enjoy cross country or track more?
EM: Track. But cross country is growing on me.

SCU: Is there a teammate that you train frequently with? Do you guys talk a lot when you run or is it strictly quiet and focused?
EM: Nicole Giove, we run together a lot; we always try new trails, and usually get way lost. But we can be running for upwards of two hours so we definitely talk to make the time pass.

SCU: Who is your favorite cross country/ track athlete these days, and who was your favorite growing up?
EM: When I was little I loved Flojo (Florence Griffith Joyner) because she always raced in really cool uniforms. But Jenny Barringer is my favorite runner now. She's extremely talented and fun.