What do Mickey Mouse and Joe Lion have in common? The Disney Cross Country Classic.
On Oct. 12, the College of Mount St. Joseph’s men and women’s cross country teams competed in the Disney Cross Country Classic, a race sponsored by New Balance and held in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Events are held for middle school, high school and college teams from across the nation.
Emily Wohlfrom, a junior at the College and team captain of the women’s team, was excited to compete with runners from all over the country and within all divisions of college athletics. Even so, Wohlfrom said, “the team was largely competing against themselves in this race.”
“I think the best we can do as a team and individuals is beat our own PRs (personal records),” said Wohlfrom prior to the race.
Head coach, Tina Blakley agreed. “The wonderful thing about our team is we have a wide range of athletic ability,” she said. “Overall, I expect each of them to perform to the best of their ability.”
The 18th annual race took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. The College’s women’s team competed with 24 other college teams from 10 different states, and the men’s team competed with 18 teams from nine different states. The men ‘s race was longer than the women’s—the men ran eight kilometers, which is slightly less than five miles. The women’s race was five kilometers, or 3.1 miles.
In order to fund the travel expenses, the team had been working together with the Cedar Point Food Services Fund Raising program. Team members worked eight-hour shifts in concessions at Cedar Point and the wages they earned went towards the trip. Blakley said “working at the amusement park has been more than just a way to fund the trip.”
“It has been a great team building experience so far,” said Blakley.
Though this is the first time the teams traveled so far for a race, Blakley said she hopes to start a tradition of traveling to compete at the national level. Not only does a national meet give the team something to strive for, Blakley said, but the race also gave the seniors on the team a “memorable experience as they finish their collegiate running career.”
“We are hoping that this is something we will be able to again in the future,” she said.
For more information about MSJ’s cross country teams and races, visit www.msjsports.com.