Nov. 12, 2012
Keeping a positive attitude is important for the success of any athlete. It allows one push through any challenges to reach goals. That is the attitude senior captain Allison Stasiuk brings to the Boston College women's cross country team.
A runner since sixth grade, Stasiuk specializes in distance running at the Heights. As a team captain, she sees it as her responsibility to be a role model and remain upbeat throughout all of the hard work that the sport entails.
"I have to look out for the good of all my teammates, especially the younger girls, but also the older ones," Stasiuk said. "We have to set a good example and work together to have a positive energy."
Stasiuk sees a positive outlook as an important aspect of building strong team chemistry. Without that chemistry, the team could be held back. Because only seven runners get to travel for meets, there is intense competition amongst teammates. If that competition is used to drive each other and improve as a whole, then it is a good thing. It should not hold the team because of selfishness and the worst part about negative conflicts is they can be avoided, Stasiuk said.
Under Stasiuk's leadership, this year's team has been using the competition to grow closer.
"We do everything together," Stasiuk said. "We run together and talk while we run. We have team breakfasts; we eat lunch together; we lift together. We're just together all the time."
Having close relationships, like the one's she does on the team this season, is what makes running so much fun for Stasiuk. The idea of team is very important to her as the other runners have become her best friends at college.
Having strong academics is another important lesson that Stasiuk tries to impart on the younger runners. As a junior, she was given the Athletics Director's Award for Academic Achievement following a successful year in the classroom. The award meant a lot to her because it was a symbol of all the hard work she put in outside of athletics.
"Student comes before athlete," Stasiuk said. "While that might not ring true to some people, it does to me. I am here to do well in my academics. To me, the most important part is balancing athletics, academics and my social life. You might want to put school on the back burner but it always has to come first."
In fact, it was the reputation of BC as a top academic institution that attracted Stasiuk to the university after high school. Also, she is only about 90 minutes from her home in North Kingstown, R.I.
The team finished third at the ACC Championships and tied for fourth at the Northeast Regional Championship. The Eagles earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 17.
Stasiuk has had the opportunity to compete in the nationals two times in her college career and that has been the most exciting part of her time at BC.
"It's everything, it's what you've been working for with your summer training and continuing into the fall. It shows that all your hard work is paying off," Stasiuk said.
Written by senior Eddie Lockhart