Lanie Thompson: Climbing Hills Much Easier as a Team
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Hello Duck fans! Since my last blog, the Oregon cross-country team has been having a great time with some solid training. Even though the annual Sunriver training is coming to an end, our team has definitely made its fair share of memories this year, while at the same time truly working hard. The entire women's team has had dinner together every night and the cooking has been simply amazing. I'll refrain from listing my favorite meals because it would take up the entire blog; everything has been SO good! On top of the cooking done by the women's team, we have also had some combined efforts with the men's team, including homemade pizzas, a BBQ, and dessert nights for the birthdays we've celebrated at camp (Happy Birthday shout out to Sarah Penney, Jordan Hasay, and Matt Jablonski).
As I've mentioned in many of my past blogs, there is definitely a special bond among the women's team. But what I don't think I've ever pointed out is how awesome it is that the men's and women's teams are so close. At camp, we have had many nights full of movies and fun games, which I think Ben DeJarnette touched on in his blog, although I do have to point out that he was on the opposing (and losing) team, so if he is a little bitter that might be why. But regardless, we have a lot of fun outside of practice, and it stems from the encouragement we give each other during practice. Just the other day, both teams had a workout up a long and steep hill. Naturally, the men's team finished before us and I'm sure were exhausted; nevertheless, we were able to make it to the top of the hill and have the guys cheering us on, with Mac Fleet waiting for us with a big high five. The support we are constantly giving one another is really what makes Oregon a unique place to run. That "O" on the back of our jerseys makes us a team whether we are in a race, at practice, or just having fun in Sunriver!
Now, on to the fun facts! This week we'll be learning a little more about Sarah Andrews, Megan Patrignelli, Bronwyn Crossman, and Claire Michel.
First up is sophomore Sarah Andrews, who, based off of her Southern twang and use of the word "y'all," is clearly from the Lonestar State of Texas! So I'm just going to throw it out there; Sarah Andrews is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I've never been to Texas, and maybe everyone from Texas is so sweet, but boy does that girl have a big heart! Sarah loves animals so much she tells me she wants to at some point live on a farm with all sorts of animals. In fact, Sarah loved and missed her dogs in Texas so much that she went out and bought a parakeet to satiate her animal withdrawals! If she ever has these withdrawals again, she should just come to N.J. and visit me because I live on a rescue farm with a whole bunch of animals, then she can really get a taste of the farm life!
Megan Patrignelli, another sophomore, is a beloved East Coaster from New York. I had the privilege of getting to know Megan pretty well on her official visit three years ago, and it's great to see how well she is progressing here at the U of O. Now although Megan and Sarah were roommates, they are pretty much opposites when it comes to animal liking. When we go out on a run, Megan will often hide behind some other girls when a dog is passing by, especially a dog not on a leash. I think Megan has only pet two dogs in her life, one of which was this summer and Megan says was merely done as a survival tactic, but regardless, we were certainly proud of her! Now if Megan ever came to N.J., I'd probably refrain from giving her a tour around the farm, instead we would just soak in the goodness of the Jersey Shore!
Bronwyn Crossman, a native of Bellingham, Washington, is a senior this year. I wasn't there when Bronwyn was a freshman, but from what I hear, she was pretty quiet, which is the exact opposite of how she is now. And I'm not saying this is a bad thing; it's a great thing actually because she is always able to spice up your day. Speaking of spicing up your day, Bronwyn loves salsa dancing! Any chance she can get and she'll throw in some salsa moves or take a salsa dancing class. Another interesting fact about Bronwyn is she is a pescatarian. She originally was a vegetarian, but decided that fish is so healthy she could use it in her diet. Although this may be Bronwyn's last Sunriver experience, we are so lucky we still have Bronwyn for indoor and outdoor track because what she brings to the table is irreplaceable.
Last but not least is the eldest member of our cross-country team this year, Claire Michel, a true leader. You may not believe me when I tell you Claire's fun and interesting facts, but look it up in the Genius Book of World Records if you're skeptical. That's right, Claire Michel has two WORLD records for the most people in a swimming pool and the most people in a ballet class, which actually took place in Eugene. I don't know about you but having two world records is about the most interesting fun fact you can get! Claire only has cross-country eligibility left so it is going to be different without her in the spring, and most likely it will be physically painful for me because her experience in the steeplechase kept me from not completely falling over the barriers, but Claire truly has contributed great things here at the U of O and she will most definitely be missed (But we still have her for the fall season so no tears yet!).
That's all for now! The next time you hear from me we'll probably be getting back into the swing of things in Eugene, but until then, GO DUCKS!