So far the Rowan women’s cross-country team has had a solid season. One of the runners who is contributing and helping the team is freshman electrical and computer engineering student Gabriella Pagano.
Pagano has had a good season thus far. In the three races she has competed in, she has been a top three finisher on her team in each race. Head Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson has been impressed by Pagano so far, not only as a runner but also as a teammate.
“She has a great impact on the team,” Ringo said. “She is always upbeat and positive. She always comes to practice ready and on time. I tell them this all the time, just come to practice every day and have your brain be like a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as possible. Ellie [Pagano] does a great job at doing that.”
Adamson feels this way despite his initial fear of a freshman runner like Pagano adjusting to the team.
“My biggest fear with almost all freshmen is the adjustment,” Ringo said. “Adjustment is a key issue but this year with Ellie [Pagano] and the rest of the freshmen, I think they have all formed a bond with one another that has allowed them to adjust well. And then when you have the upperclassmen, especially the two captains Amanda [McNally] and Cammy [Wright], being so welcoming, it allows everyone to feel together as a team. That is a great attribute that the team has.”
Even though Ringo initially feared how Pagano would adjust to the team, Pagano had no fear and was just excited to be a part of the team.
“This is one of the best teams I have been a part of,” Pagano said. “Cammy [Wright] and Amanda [McNally] are both so great at creating a team-friendly environment. Coming in with five other freshmen, I can say it was not scary and we all felt very welcome.”
At the most recent race, Pagano and her teammates realized that they put on what was their worst performance of the season at the Mike Woods Invitational.
“Last week we came out really slow,” Pagano said. “That threw us off last week.”
Despite their poor performance last week, Pagano is ready for the upcoming Border Battle event hosted by Rowan.
“I am feeling really confident for Border Battle,” Pagano said. “Abbey [Churchill] was coming off an injury and Anna [Sasse] recovered from her cold right away, so I think we will bounce back at Border Battle. We are not gonna be afraid this Saturday and we are going to attack early this week.”
Adamson has high expectations for Pagano and his team this weekend at the Border Battle.
“I think that this weekend can really set us up for the NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference] Championships,” Ringo said. “They also have their families and friends here this weekend so I hope they can give them some extra motivation.”
Pagano and the rest of the team need to have a great performance in order for the Profs to live up to Ringo’s expectations this Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Border Battle meet in Logan Township.
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