Augie athlete feature: cross country and comradery

Anjelica Ortiz

Madison Mayer is a junior on the women’s cross country team here at Augustana. She is from Rolling Meadows, Illinois and went to Rolling Meadows High School. Madison ran in high school and joined the Augustana team her freshman year, making this her third year on Augie’s team.
Running has always been a passion of Mayer’s. It’s something that helps her express herself and makes her extremely happy. Something that got Madison into cross country was her fondness for nature. She loves to find new trails or paths to run on and explore. 
“I just always enjoyed running and one thing I loved was that it’s a sport you can do anywhere you are,” Mayer said.
Her favorite thing about the team here at Augie are the relationships she has made with her teammates. Mayer is always encouraged and inspired by her teammates around her and they help her strive to be her best.
 “We’ve got each other’s backs…[we are] a family and we lift each other up on early morning workouts and long runs or whatever it is. We are always running by each other saying good job and supporting each other,” Mayer said.
Last year during the spring, Mayer suffered an injury that caused her to stop running for a while. Because of this, she became one of the best motivators on the team and has had a substantial amount of personal growth. She is seen by others as supportive and generous. 
My favorite thing about Madison is her kindness and the way that she cares for others. She is so supportive, uplifting and all around just an inspiring individual… Madison motivates the team to do better by giving her teammates a real-life example of what resilience looks like,” said teammate and junior Carmen Bruchnak. 
As a player, Madison has never stopped striving for success and tackling any obstacle before her, making her a great example for athletes even outside of cross country. 
[Madison] works hard, often being the last one lifting or stretching after runs, but has learned how to gradually progress in her running mileage and incorporate cross-training to stay consistent … I hope younger runners can see how Madison strives academically, and runs cross country and track not just to run fast times, but to connect with her team and benefit her mental and physical health,” said Colin Young, women’s cross country coach.   
The cross country season got pushed back this year to the spring, so Madison is unable to run in meets at the moment. But she said she is determined to keep running and stay connected with her team until the season.