Junior cross country runner Jenna Gasparrini has been named the Patriot League Female Runner of the Week for the week of Sept. 9-15. Gasparrini has led the Lady Crusaders for the third week in a row. Her performance at the National Catholic Invitational at the University of Notre Dame on September 14th was arguably her best of the season so far. In that race, the junior finished 13th in the 5k, clocking in with a time of 18:12.48 in brutally hot weather.
Gasparrini was thrilled with her result. “Given the hot conditions, I was definitely happy with the results of the race,” said Gasparrini. “I was definitely trying not to get too caught up in the time and I think I raced well against the competition.”
The junior has already shown this year that she has what it takes to lead the Lady Crusaders to a strong finish at the Patriot League Championships. “The team has been getting better with each race,” said Gasparrini. “I think that we get more confidence as a whole with each workout we do and our team has a ton of potential.”
However, she believes it will take hard-work and some adjustments in order to tap that potential. “I think we can improve on running in packs so that we can motivate each other during races,” she said. “We will probably be doing some longer workouts leading up to Paul Short because it’s our first 6k of the season.”
The Lady Crusader’s are a young squad, and Gasparrini has embraced the role of mentoring the underclassmen. “We have a super talented group of freshman and I’m so excited to have them on the team,” said the junior. “This has definitely put me in a leadership position which I do by trying to stay positive during workouts and before races and by motivating the underclassmen when the running gets tough.”
Gasparrini believes that the team has a chance to do something special this year. Their first race against Patriot League competition will take place at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University next Saturday. This will be the first chance for Gasparrini and the Lady Crusader’s to show how they match up against some of the best runners in the conference.
Image Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics