Meredith Fogg Earns Berth to National Cross Country Finals
In her first year of competitive running since she was a frosh at Wheat Ridge High School, Occidental College sophomore Meredith Fogg of Lakewood, Colo., achieved the remarkable by qualifying for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Finals, set for Saturday, Nov. 17 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.
At the NCAA West Regional Meet Nov. 10 in Salem, Ore., Fogg earned a berth to the national meet by finishing fifth in the women’s 5K with a blazing time of 18:10 (1:15 faster than her previous best). The performance also landed her on the All-West Region team.
“I definitely surprised myself this past weekend,” said Fogg, who has not declared a major. “It opened up a whole new world, and I really wonder what I can do if I put in the work and stay healthy. I knew all season I hadn’t been exerting myself because I’d finish races and not be tired.” Fogg, a soccer player through high school, decided to give up that sport so she could focus on her college academics. She took up recreational running last year to offset stress, then decided to join the cross country team for fun. Fogg said she still has much to learn about her new sport, from how to pace herself to improving her sprint abilities.
“Talk about your quintessential Cinderella stories – this is one of them,” said Occidental head track coach Troy Engle, who in 18 years of coaching has never had a first-year runner advance to the national championship meet. “We have not even begun to scratch the surface in terms of what her long-term potential is.”
At the finals, Fogg said she plans to keep a steady pace, exactly her strategy in Oregon. “I found a point that I felt I couldn’t go much faster- it was actually a little painful – and I held it there as long as I could,” she said. Fogg, who finished eighth in an earlier Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet, will approach her championship competitors with a newfound confidence: “I know I can run with them.”