Rowan women’s cross-country runner and psychology major Ally Wernik has had a phenomenal first two meets as a freshman, placing in the top ten both times.
With this early success, Ally credits her teammates and the upperclassmen on the team for helping her adjust to the college lifestyle, and helping her believe she could place so high this quickly in her career.
“My teammates have taken me in with open arms since the first day,” Wernik said. “I’ve been pushed a lot, and they always tell me to not get in my own head. They always know what to say too because they’ve been through everything I’m going through right now.”
Despite prioritizing her training throughout the offseason, Wernik is surprised to see herself finishing this high this early on.
“I’ve worked really hard this summer, and I had people telling me I could place high, but I haven’t been in the sport for a really long time,” Wernik said. “Now that I have finished in the top ten, it’s something I want to achieve every meet.”
Wernik started running cross country when she was a sophomore in high school, and while she loves the thrill of running, she especially loves one special aspect of it.
“I really enjoy cross country because of the team aspect of it,” Wernik said. “It’s very different than a lot of other sports, you really become a family and you have a lot of sisters and best friends.”
Head Coach Derek “Ringo” Adamson knew Ally had a ton of potential even before he got her on the team.
“I watched her run in high school,” Ringo said. “I thought if I could get this girl on this team, I know I could do something with her and just bring her to another level.”
Now that Wernik has shown what she could do, Ringo has a lot of high hopes and praise for her.
“I see a whole lot more coming from her,” Ringo said. “She heard the calling. When you hear the calling, you’re going to rise to it and eventually become transcendent.”
Ringo also views Wernik as very tough and someone who shows a lot of perseverance.
“Her biggest strength is that her threshold for pain is through the roof,” Ringo said. “I don’t think pain means nothing to her.”
Wernik has high hopes for herself in her young cross-country career, but what’s most important to her is her happiness and having fun with the sport.
“By the time I’m a senior I just want to be happy and healthy, there’s obviously goals like NJAC and regionals but to get there you need to be healthy, and to be in this sport you gotta be happy.”
With a good attitude like that, the sky’s the limit for Ally Wernik, and she looks to keep up her hot start in the next meet on Sept. 23 at the Dickinson Long/Short Run.
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