Last fall, Cynthia Adams arrived at LVC’s campus much like any other freshman student-athlete. Leaving home for the first time and adjusting to a new environment and the rigors of collegiate athletics is an experience shared by thousands of freshman across the nation. What sets Cynthia Adams apart is that she had signed up for a sport she had never done before.
Cynthia was a three sport athlete in high school; competing in soccer, basketball and outdoor track at Southern Columbia HS. While she excelled at all three, she was a three time medalist at the PIAA State Meet in the 800 meter run, recording a high school best time of 2:16 as a sophomore. On deciding to try a new sport, Cynthia recalled that “last year when I came into the XC program I was very unsure of what to expect but everyone told me college was the time to try new things and this was my chance.”
Megan Long 10’, a two-time 1st Team All-MAC runner, similarly came to LVC with no cross country experience and excelled immediately. Long was also an 800 and 1500 meter specialist on the track. “Megan helped to ease my fears by giving me encouragement throughout my freshman season. It meant a lot to be reassured by another runner who had never run XC until college,” remembers Cynthia.
Cynthia began her LVC career and very first 5K by finishing a stellar 5th place in 19:42 at the 2010 Dutchmen Invite, LVC's second runner across the line. After a few more strong races, Cynthia unfortunately suffered a high-ankle sprain which derailed the remainder of her fall campaign. While she was still critical to the team’s success, she was not running at 100%. The optimism that can come along with excelling at something new quickly turned into self-imposed disappointment. She needed a break to heal and regroup, both mentally and physically.
Reinvigorated with a healthy ankle and a chance to prove herself on the track, a more comfortable realm for her, Cynthia had arguably one of the best seasons for a freshman in all of Division 3 athletics during the track & field season. She is already four-time conference champion (indoor 800, outdoor 800, outdoor 1500, & outdoor 4x8 relay), a three-time ECAC Medalist (indoor 1000, indoor distance medley relay, & outdoor 400), the only freshman in the nation to qualify in the women’s 800 to the NCAA Championships, and lastly, a USATF Junior Nationals qualifier, held in Eugene, Oregon last spring. She ran the 10th fastest time of the year, notching a 2:11.30 at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet.
“Track season was definitely a learning experience but I got to compete against some very talented athletes in a variety of racing situations. After only running one season a year in high school, I was surprised by how much my times dropped with only one full year of running and Coach O'Brien's coaching expertise."
Although a highly accomplished runner already, Cynthia’s training age is rather young and she looks to remain healthy and continue to improve. With a full year under her belt she now has a better understanding of what is to come and has prepared well for this fall. Below she talks about her goals for the upcoming season.
“My goals for cross country are simply to improve as a runner and begin to understand how to race at a longer distance. Hopefully by working hard I can compete well within the conference. This year I am more adjusted to demands of the cross country season and so far this preseason has been much less exhausting than last year's. I'm excited to see what this year holds in running both in cross country and on the track. The team has looked very strong throughout preseason so hopefully that will translate into a very successful fall.”
Please be sure to catch Cynthia and the rest of the Flying Dutchmen at their home invitational on Saturday, September 10th at Union Canal Tunnel Park, a brand new course for this fall. More information can be found at GoDutchmen.com.