This week’s athlete of the week is a member of the women’s cross-country team. The Royals finished in third place at the Misericordia Invitational Sept. 1.
Senior runner Patricia Hoffman has been leading the team in fastest finishes during the first three meets of the season. She has been on the team since her first year. Her career best finishes include 16:00.2 in the 4,000 meter race on Sept. 21, 2013, 21:01.83 in the 5,000 meter race on Sept. 7, 2013 and finally 23:30.08 in the 6,000 meter race on Oct. 17, 2015.
Q: When did you first start running cross country?
A: I started running cross-country in sixth grade through my grade school’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) program. I tried cross-country because I always especially liked the running components when I participated in soccer, basketball and softball. This will be my 11th cross country season.
Q: What has been your favorite memory during your entire cross-country career?
A: My favorite memory during my entire cross- country career was running my best career time yet of 23:30 last year at Rowan University. In the middle of the race, all the runners had to jump over a hay bale.
It was definitely a fun course to run.
Q: Who has been your biggest mentor/supporter throughout your career?
A: My biggest mentors have been my parents. They always have encouraged me to improve myself as a runner, but most importantly, to remain dedicated to all the endeavors I pursue. I am also very fortunate to have my twin sister, Kathryn, as my teammate throughout my running career as well.
Q: How have you been consistently leading the Royals over the past three meets?
A: Over the past three meets, the other senior girls and I have shown strong leadership by leading stretches and having positive attitudes. Because this is my last season, I think I am extra mindful of how few cross county meets I have left. I think this added awareness motivates me to continue attacking hills, which are one of the hardest parts of the race.
Q: What do you remember about your career best 4,000 meter race, where you finished at 16:00.2 seconds?
A: Our typical races are 6,000 meter so we rarely compete in 4,000 meter races. This time was actually from my freshman year, and the meet was in Cortland, New York. It was one of my first meets as a collegiate runner, so I was still just trying to stay with the older girls on the team.
Q: As a Senior, how do you envision your cross country career coming to a close?
A: This will be my 11th cross country season. Over the course of my career, I have developed both as an athlete and a person. I am planning on signing up for the Scranton Half Marathon.
Q: What are your personal and team goals for the season?
A: A personal goal for the season is to beat 23:30 for my 5K time. A team goal for the season is to improve our fifth place pre-season seeding at the Landmark Conference championships.