Five questions with Shannon Wichmann, a senior captain on the Holy Names cross country team.
Q: Head coach Erin McCormick said your squad prides itself on its work ethic and team chemistry. How much does it help having a bunch of encouraging teammates running beside you?
Wichmann: The girls on the team are some of the closest friends I have. I can always count on the team if I’m having a bad day to just go to practice and have a good time. We are also really competitive with each other in a healthy way. We all push each other to the best of our abilities in practice.
Q: Moira O’Connor Lenth, one of the top runners on last year’s Holy Names team, graduated and now runs at Seattle University. Are you taking it upon yourself to step into that leadership role?
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Wichmann: She was a really great leader by example. She definitely had a really good work ethic, and that kind of has been passed down to me. I need to show the other girls how hard you need to work in order to succeed in cross country.
Q: Jordan Oakes has emerged as the No. 1 runner for Holy Names this season despite being a freshman. What makes her special?
Wichmann: She’s definitely a character. She’s brought a lot of joy to the team. She’s a really funny, sweet and nice person. She’s also made the team more competitive. Especially after losing Moira, who ran at about the same pace as Jordan, she keeps pushing us to go faster.
Q: Your team took seventh at the Bellevue Invitational last weekend. Was it frustrating to run in such poor conditions? Did Thursday’s second-place finish (at a seven-team Metro League meet) make up for the result of the Bellevue race?
Wichmann: I don’t think we let it get to our heads. A lot of girls were like, ‘I want to run that again.’ I was getting over a cold, and Jordan was not having her best race. We were all pretty frustrated with the way we performed, but Thursday really showed that we didn’t let it faze us.
Q: How does McCormick make running for her so enjoyable? Has she established any goals for your team this year, and do you have any personal goals in your final year at Holy Names?
Wichmann: She’s been doing a really good job of working us hard and explaining why we do all the training we do. She believes in us a lot and is very personal with us. We would definitely like to make it to state as a team. It’s awesome to make it individually, but being there with the whole team brings a completely different dynamic.