Distance runner Connelly ’14 on trail of success

Sports Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012


Anyone who has ever competed in a 5K race, which translates to just over three miles, knows that running is no easy task. For most people, it is hard enough to complete a 5K in under 23 minutes, which is about 7 minutes, 24 seconds per mile. But running that distance at a pace of 5:24 per mile would be particularly noteworthy.

Margaret Connelly ’14 maintained this pace for not five, but six, kilometers at Saturday’s NCAA Northeast Regional Championship. Her time earned her a seventh place finish overall and an individual bid to tomorrow’s NCAA Championship in Louisville, KY. For her steely performance at the regional meet and her contributions to the women’s team throughout the season, Connelly has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

The Herald: What are you concentrating in and why?

Connelly: Environmental studies and political science. I realized, just recently this semester, that I had already taken a ton of the poli sci requirements, and so I realized that it made sense to keep exploring that field. Also, I think that the combination of poli sci and environmental creates a cool double. I’m interested in how food and policy overlap. 

What’s your favorite class you’ve taken so far?

Ethics and Public Policy in the poli sci department. It doesn’t sound that thrilling, but the professor made it interesting and the readings were all very relevant, and I just enjoyed every class. 

What do you prefer, the V-Dub or the Ratty?

The V-Dub, definitely. Just because it’s always been where our team goes for dinner every night after practice. It’s where I got to know all the guys’ team and got to know more of the girls’ team. We all sit together, we all have the same tables every day. The whole atmosphere, with the music – it’s more family style. 

What’s your least favorite weather to run in? 

I really don’t like running when there’s snow and slush on the ground. It just makes things a lot more difficult – like footing-wise, you have to be a lot more cautious. With that said, I also don’t like racing when there’s huge winds. 

Are there ever points in a race where you just want to stop and catch your breath?

When those kind of thoughts start popping up, that’s when you know you’re in trouble, I think. In high school, sometimes I wished I could suffer a minor twisted ankle before the race started, just so I could get out of it. During a race, if I ever wanted to just stop, it’s a bad sign that I’ve checked out.

Who has had the largest impact on your running career and why?

Actually, that’s kind of easy – my mom. She was my coach from fifth through eighth grade. Before that, I always went to the grade school practices because she was my older brother’s coach as well. So I was just a little kid at the track doing all the drills with the older kids. We also did 5Ks as a family, and I just love the whole lifestyle that she introduced to me. 

Do you have any pre-race superstitions or traditions?

No. I try to stay clear of those because then once you miss it, then you feel like you’re going to mess up or something like that. 

What’s your favorite aspect of the new athletic building?

I like the new lifting room for the varsity teams because the old one didn’t have complete sets or didn’t have enough of the free weights. Now we can all be in there at the same time and receive equal time using the equipment. 

How does it feel to qualify for the national championship?

I’m really excited. I just am looking forward to competing with other top athletes in the country and seeing how it plays out. 

Is there anything you would change or redo about this season?

I don’t think so. The training has been consistent. I’ve loved running with my teammates every day. I look forward to it. (Head Coach of Women’s Cross Country Mitchell Baker)’s been great, he’s balanced the new work load with having lost a couple coaches really well. We haven’t even noticed, which is pretty incredible. So I wouldn’t change anything. 

What’s your best memory from this season?

I thought the Wisconsin trip was really fun. A really good group of girls went. The trip was longer too, so instead of getting there and having to race the next day, we had a full day to just chill and see the course. Hanging out with Mitchell was fun. We went to some great diner called Monty’s. We got some pretty incredible desserts. My aunt lives like a mile away from the course so I was able to hang out there, so I think that trip was a lot of fun. 


  • Connellys

    We love you Margaret. The TnT Connellys