With the end of the season approaching quickly the Koalas Cross Country team has a lot to celebrate this year. Competing in a number of meets that consisted of NCAA Div. 1 and 2 athletes and consistently performing at a high level has the ladies in peak running form headed into the AAC Conference Meet.
The success of this years team has been a mixture of good coaching, hard work, and a special talent, namely Alyssa Waibel. Waibel has undoubtedly been the anchor that has held this young team together and she continues to help her teammates progress day in and day out. When asked about her success this year Alyssa stated, “This has been my fastest season yet. Each year at Columbia College I have gotten faster. Not only has my running ability improved, but my mental strength has, as well.”
Alyssa wasted no time in giving credit where its due, especially about Coach Nichols and her teammates. “Coach Nichols is very knowledgeable about distance running. If you look at my results from the past three years, not only have I gotten faster since high school, but I have consistently improved my 5k time in almost every race throughout each season. I also give credit to my teammates for my improvements. You will be expected to perform at your very best in practice and in meets. Irene Nicolau Requena, specifically, pushed me to become the best runner I could be my first year at Columbia College. Teammates like Irene are common on this team, and supportive teammates make all of the difference.”
The Koalas are headed to Conference this weekend and are expecting to compete very well. With hopes of not only receiving All- Conference honors but also the chance to qualify runners to compete at the NAIA National Championships.