The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed against Ancient Eight foes at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships last weekend at Princeton’s West Windsor Fields. Taylor Worthy ’17 turned in a standout performance, finishing the six-kilometer course in fourth place out of 93 competitors with a personal-best time of 20:37.8. Worthy was the highest finisher for Bruno, and the effort earned her first-team All-Ivy distinction. In addition, Worthy helped the Bears to a fourth-place finish as a team and the fifth spot in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Northeast Region Rankings.
Worthy has been one of the top runners for Brown this fall, registering an eighth-place finish at the Battle in Beantown and placing in the top 100 of 285 runners at the Pre-National Invitational. She will compete Nov. 11 at the NCAA Northeast Regional in Van Cortland, N.Y.
For her All-Ivy finish, which helped the Bears earn regional distinction, Worthy is The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: What were your individual expectations going into Heps?
Worthy: Last year, I was two spots away from making second-team All-Ivy, which is top 14. I knew going into last weekend that it was something I was striving to do. I saw the opportunity to make first team, the top seven. So seeing that as something that was in reach was really cool. Being second team was my goal, and I just exceeded that.
After you finished the race, did you know that you had beaten your personal record?
I knew that it was a better time than when I had previously raced the course my freshman year. I had an idea of what my place was because I saw pretty clearly the three girls ahead of me.
What does the All-Ivy distinction mean to you, especially coming in your senior season?
It kind of validates all the work that I’ve put in throughout my four years on the team. It shows that if you really work for something, and it’s something that you want, really cool things can happen, and it will pay off.
With the team finishing fourth and being recognized regionally, how does it feel to place as the highest finisher for Brown?
As a captain this year, I set a lot of goals with my co-captain about the team that we wanted to be, on race day especially. One of the things that we talked about was being the toughest team out there. It’s a lot more than just saying you’re tough, but really embodying that on race day when it matters. So I think that this past weekend, the 12 women that we had out there on the course really proved that they were tough.
What’s your pre-race routine?
We always warm up together as a team. I always get myself psyched and do drills. I’m pretty particular about what I’ll eat on race day, but other than that it’s just getting pumped and ready to go on the line.
Cross country, indoor track or outdoor track, and why?
I’ve always considered myself more of a track runner. I do primarily mid-distance, the 800 and 1500 are my main events. So I’ve kind of developed into a more competitive cross country racer. It’s like a whole different mindset, honestly, so it’s hard to compare the two. I get a lot of satisfaction from track because it’s a lot more tangible. Cross country has a lot more variability. The courses are all different, so you can’t really compare your times.
What are your goals for the upcoming Northeast Regional meet?
Last year we were third in the region, which was a really great performance for us. The top two teams automatically qualify for the NCAA Nationals, so being in contention for that would be something really great for our team.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.