After a difficult recovery from a serious hip injury, Bryony Hawgood ’20 placed fourth (22:03.7) at the MIAC championships for the St. Olaf women’s cross country team. The team came in third as a whole.
Hawgood started out as a competitive swimmer at the age of six in Zimbabwe. When Hawgood turned 18 she transitioned to triathlon and discovered a love for running, leading her to join St. Olaf’s cross country team.
Although Hawgood’s injury is incurable without a hip replacement, her determination to run persists.
“Sophomore year running was really close to being taken away from me,” Hawgood said. “I really thought I wasn’t going to be able to run again.”
Placing fourth in the MIAC was an unexpected outcome following the scare with her hip, Hawgood said.
However, her injury has given her a new perspective and gratitude toward running. Her unorthodox training involves more cross training than running to protect her hip. Although she wishes she could run outside with her teammates during practices, she now treasures the time where she does get to run for events even more.
Hawgood attributes much of her success to her team, especially fellow runner Lisa Fisher ’20.
“I don’t know if I genuinely would still be running without her,” Hawgood said.
Hawgood described the conditions of her race at the MIAC as “extremely cold.” Hawgood also said she got out too fast at the beginning because of nerves and was second up until about 100 meters to the finish line and then was outsprinted.
Hawgood hopes to avoid these pitfalls as she advances to regionals. She will be racing a 6k at Wartburg College. Hawgood hopes the team can come together and qualify for nationals. She also hopes to qualify as an individual for nationals, which requires placing in the top 10 in the region. Hawgood placed 82nd at nationals last year and hopes to get into the top 50 this year.