October 27, 2010

Wilson Works to Defend Title

By Carolyn Linck, '11

Stephanie Wilson (SW) is one of the most decorated student-athletes at Santa Clara University.   Her honors include being a 2009 NCAA All-American in cross country, as well as the 2009 WCC Champion – both firsts for Santa Clara.  In the classroom, she was named to the 2009 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team and also a 2010 COSIDA Academic All-District member. 

In her final year running for the Broncos, Wilson looks to continue her success while enjoying her last season.  Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) sat down with Wilson to discuss her training regimen, how she balances academics with running and her role as a senior.

SCB: How proud are you of your accomplishments thus far at Santa Clara?

SW: I'm really proud of the hard work that I've put in these past three years at Santa Clara, and I'm happy with what I've accomplished. I also realize how lucky I was that I have so many resources here, and all the support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches.

SCB: How did it feel to become SCU's first NCAA All-American in cross country last year?

SW: It was a great feeling! The whole experience was fun, and I was really excited that I executed the race plan on that day to have a great finish.

SCB: What are your goals for your final year at SCU?

SW: I'd like to go back to Nationals in Cross Country and finally make it to the Regional meet in Track. But mostly, I'd like to enjoy just being on the team and training at Santa Clara.

SCB: What was it like running at the Bronco Invitational this past weekend?

SW: It felt good to have my spikes on again! Bronco was my first race since Nationals, and I felt like I accomplished what I needed to do on that day. The event as a whole was awesome. It was our largest Bronco Invite ever -- over 700 athletes from 37 teams. All the alumni showed up to cheer us on and afterwards we had a barbeque. It was a fun day.

SCB: How did you prepare for the season? What's your training regimen like?

SW: This season has been a bit unorthodox because I was recovering from one injury and managed to get another one, so I had to alter my training a bit. I've been doing a lot more cross training -- pool running, swimming, and biking. Right now, I do three to four running workouts a week and cross train on the other days.

SCB: You have an excellent GPA. How do you manage to balance running and school so effectively?

SW: I just try to stay organized and make sure that I get enough sleep.

SCB: What do you feel your role on the team is as a senior? Do you mentor any of the younger girls?

SW: I remember coming in as a sophomore when Blossom Marimpietri was a fifth year senior and thinking, "Wow, she's pretty old," and now that's me! I feel like part of my job is to keep alive the traditions of the alumni. I give the younger girls advice when I think they need it.

SCB: How old were you when you started running competitively? What do you like most about it?

SW: When I was a sophomore in high school I started running cross country, and my first two races were terrible. I went out way too fast and died, and I really hated it! But once I got the hang of pacing, I was hooked. I love that feeling you get when you push yourself as hard as you can go and you end up finishing well. I also love the camaraderie and friendship you develop with your teammates. I'm really going to miss the early morning workouts, the ice-baths, Benson breakfasts and the crazy van rides back from practice.