Captain’s Corner

Michael Diakunczak, Columnist

Clare Schoen has brought a lot of success to the women’s cross country team. The senior occupational therapy major is heading full steam into her fourth year as a distance runner.

Let’s list some of her accolades, shall we? Schoen is 2017 Wendy’s Woman Athlete of the Year, 2017 Middle Atlantic Conference XC Runner up, 2018 Middle Atlantic Conference XC Runner of the Year/Individual Champ and two-time National Runner of the Week.

Let’s not forget that Schoen has also helped the Lady Cougars to three Middle Atlantic Conference titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Schoen knows that there is more to be accomplished in the upcoming indoor meets. The biggest goal for her and the rest of the Lady Cougars is to add another MAC title to the shelves. However, winning the conference has become the norm, so to kick it up a notch, the team’s goals have grown to placing Top 3 in the Regional meet and placing a bid to Nationals.

Schoen’s personal goals are ambitious, too. 

“Individually, I wanted to the win the conference, win the regional meet, and become an All-American,” said Schoen.

But there’s a plot twist in her tale of success: Schoen’s talent on her feet came as a big surprise.

“Nothing really specific got me into running. I ran cross country in high school and then used half marathons as something to train for during my basketball and softball seasons,” said Schoen.

The source of her drive may also a little unexpected.

“I knew I wanted to do something in college to help meet people and have something to fill my time. I loved competing and coach Wadas was willing to have me on the team.”

The one thing that is not surprising about Schoen is her competitive nature. 

“I am an extremely, extremely competitive person and that’s always driven me to try and be successful.”

Good news for the team: Schoen declared that her final season will come in her fifth year. That means she has a lot of future performances and accolades to look forward to.

Schoen believes her teammates should “trust the process” because they all have many dreams to reach.

The Lady Cougars will compete in the NCAA Mideast Regionals at Stevenson University Nov. 10 after their recent MAC Conference title win Oct. 27. In addition, the team will compete in the NCAA Championships in Wisconsin Nov. 17.