Cross Country, Sports

Bagge becomes a success in first season

Ashlyn Bagge competes individually at the 2016 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championships.
Ashlyn Bagge competes individually at the 2016 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championships. -Sports Information photo

Senior cross country runner Ashlyn Bagge decided to make the most out of her first and final season.

She had never participated in cross country before but had great success this year.

“My goal was to help the team as much as I could and help them reach their goals,” Bagge said.

Bagge said that she did well at her first meet and then kept meeting all of her personal goals through the post-season.

Her conference goal was to be in the top five. She placed third.

Bagge said she just wanted to qualify for the championship meet by placing in the top seven and went on to place fourth.When it came to the championship, she suprised herself once again.

“I did better than I could’ve imagined,” Bagge said about her 16th place finish.

Although it was Bagge’s first cross country season, she said she has been running for about three years, especially during last summer.

“I really have to work on my speed because I’ve been working on half marathons for the past few months. I’ve ran half marathons at a good pace. What’s different about other girls is that I don’t have as good of a kick at the end, but I can beat them with my endurance,” Bagge said.

In a women’s 6K cross country race, there’s time to gain distance on competitors.

For Bagge, about 3.5 miles is short, but the type of running is different.

She was training for half marathons, not 6Ks.

Bagge said girls she was friends with had tried to get her to go out for the team before, but when Coach Chapman talked to her, she changed her mind.

“Coach Chapman saw me doing the workout class [60 minute cardio] and asked his wife who I was since she does the same workout class. He was watching me and saw that I was doing really well. He sent me a really nice email. I didn’t think it’d work because I already had my schedule pretty set, but he said he could be flexible with it. I was surprised he was so flexible. I only have seven months left so I might as well make the most of it,” she said.

Bagge said her teammates were great to her, even though it was only her first season.

“I love how their season is technically done, but literally everyone was there [at the final practices before Nationals]. Everyone was really happy and excited to be there. I seriously just love the girls. They make it fun,” Bagge said.

One of Bagge’s teammates, Dakota Tell, was very happy she decided to join the team.

“I love that Ashlyn joined the team. She fit right into our cross country team and really has helped push us to success each and every day. She is a great team player and always has a positive energy in practice,” Tell said.

She said that there weren’t any problems with her being a first-year runner, as Bagge was ready for the challenge.

Bagge is incredibly thankful for her teammates, coaches and everyone else who has helped her this season.

“We always want to push each other and be the best we can be,” Bagge said.

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