A window inside life at Augustana College

XC Nationals 2012

This year, Division III Cross Country Nationals were in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, November 17th. One of my roommates is dating the only Augie guy to make it to Nationals, and my boyfriend runs for North Central College, so the two of us decided to road trip to the race.

In order for our road trip to begin, we spent a good hour on our computers mapping out the route from Rock Island to Terre Haute. We soon discovered it would be a 5 hour drive each way! We exchanged a few looks, but there really was no question that we were going to do it! Our plan was to leave by 4:30 on Friday afternoon. When Friday rolled around, I ended class at 3:45 and ran back to the apartment. We quickly packed an overnight bag and jumped in the car. We stopped for gas and were on our way by 4:33. We drove about 3 hours to University of Illinois where we spent the night at one of my friends places, and then woke up at 6:30 Saturday morning and drove the last 2 hours to Terre Haute.

What a drive! We were jamming out to some Disney soundtracks, Wicked, and much more! We were hitting notes no one has ever heard before, but we were having a blast! We are professional road-trippers! We leave at our planned time, and make 1 or 2 rest stops to stretch and we even make it to our destination earlier than the ETA on the imaps on our phones!

Arriving at Terre Haute, we were early since we made sure to take the time change into account. We found the some other Augie runners from the guys team and went with them to cheer Jonathan on.

Being cross country runners ourselves, we were anxious at the start even though we weren’t running. As the gun went off, we started yelling for Jonathan! We yelled for him to be in the 50’s. As soon as he passed us, we took off sprinting to the other side of the course in order to see him.

When the lead runner from UW Stout passed us, we started the count. 1, 2-3, 4-5-6-7-8…. he was in the late 40’s early 50’s. He had to move up! After he passed us, we sprinted to the next spot and again started the count. Each time we counted and yelled the number to Jonathan. He continued to move up! This continued for about 5 locations, and then we sprinted to the finish in order to get a good spot on the fence. For the runners, the last curve is a curve to the right and then a 400m straight away to the finish. We began the count again! Some of us were so nervous we couldn’t even watch. Jonathan was within the 30’s but we needed him below 35!!! (If you don’t know about Cross Country, the top 35 at Nationals are All-Americans.) He had the potential and we knew it throughout the entire race. As he finished, someone yelled 34! Without hesitation we took off to the end of the chute where Coach Julio was saying 34. Ols was saying 33. We were unsure exactly, but we were fairly certain he just became an All-American!!!

As results came in, some of us were getting phone calls and texts from our parents or friends back at Augie who were watching the race live on the computer. Everyone said he did it!

The official results showed that Jonathan ran 25:04.4 to place 34th and earn an All-American title!

Way to go Jonathan! You had an awesome race and we are all really excited for you!

Over the course of 27 hours, we spent 10 on the road, but had a blast. The trip was well worth the drive! We laughed to each other on the way back as we said, “this is what college is all about!”

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