Freshman Abby Churchill Records First top Finish for Rowan Women’s Cross Country

Coach Derick "Ringo" Adamson talks to his team before a meet. Coach Adamson shared his thoughts in Abby Churchill's strong start to her college career. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

The Rowan women’s cross country team ran in their second meet of the season on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Osprey Open in Galloway, New Jersey. The team improved this week from their fourth-place finish at the Salisbury Fall Festival, and moved to third place. 

The team was led by Abby Churchill who finished in first place with a dominant nine-second lead over the rest of the competition. This was not only good enough to get her to first place but also to earn her the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honors.

Head Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson was very impressed with Churchill’s performance.  

“To say Abby [Churchill] improved is an understatement,” Coach Adamson said. “If she keeps going the way she is going, she is going to be one of the best and set the NJAC on fire.”

Churchill, who is a freshman, has adjusted quickly and is enjoying the difference between the training that she got in high school and the training she is receiving from Coach Adamson. 

 “The difference between high school and college training for me is that it is a lot more intense,” Churchill said. “I am enjoying it a lot more. I also feel like I am improving a lot more.”

Churchill is also becoming more comfortable with running at the college level and is feeling supported by her teammates. 

“I feel like they’re helping me more,” Churchill said. “This is the most supportive team I have ever been on, and I just feel so blessed to be on it. We all just support each other in our own ways.”

Two big factors in Churchill’s early success are the way she adjusted and the advice from her team captains. 

“I felt a lot more comfortable after having one race under my belt,” Churchill said. “In our pre-race huddles before we have Amanda [McNally] and Cammy [Wright] telling us all to go for it, which I kept in mind while I was running.”

Coach Adamson added how confident he feels about the leadership of the team with Cammy Wright and Amanda McNally. 

“Cammy [Wright] and Amanda [McNally] are the engines of this team,” Coach Adamson said.

Coach Adamson mentioned how excited for the next couple of weeks they are and how all they will be doing is practicing. 

“In Africa no matter what you are, whether you are a lion or a gazelle– no matter, what they are going to be up at 6:30 a.m. running and hunting,” Coach Adamson said, “We are about to do some hard training over the next couple of weeks, and just like the lions and gazelles, we will be up running at 6:30.”

The team has some hard training coming up, as they currently look forward to Mike Woods Invitational in Geneseo, New York on Saturday, Oct. 1.

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